This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Galactic Capitalists of the Mojave
Congratulations to Mike Melvill of Mojave, the Yuri Gagarin of private space flight. He's the pilot of SpaceShipOne, the first ever private spacecraft. SpaceShipOne was built by designer Burt Rutan and funded by ex-Microsoft guru/#1 Portland Trail Blazer fan Paul Allen. The ship blasted out of Earth's atmosphere this morning at Mach 3, making SoCal aeronautics history. Melvill is a veteran test pilot who has logged over 6900 flight hours across over 100 different planes. According to his bio, he built a Long-EZ jet (pictured) at home and flew it around the world. Nice. LAist watched The Right Stuff last night and he is feeling a little warm and nostalgic to see another test pilot achieve the coveted title of "Astronaut."