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At approximately 8:16 AM this morning, SpaceShipOne landed successfully in Mojave after reaching outer space — making them the first of over sixteen privately-funded companies to win the $10 million dollar Ansari X Prize for private space travel.

The rocket ship, piloted by Brian Binnie, flew for the second time over the last 14 days — fulfilling the requirements as set forth by Ansari, and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Although as of this morning, the altitude requirements had yet to be confirmed by Andrews Air Force Base (who was monitoring the flight), it's believed that such details would be confirmed, announced and celebrated by 9:30 AM PST.

LAist must give a rousing three cheers to the Paul Allen team, as well as the Ansari family (based in Dallas, Texas) for side-stepping NASA and giving the human race some encouragement for reaching space on their own. It's unfortunate that NASA programs are mired down in political B.S. and budgetary snafus, slowing down a scientific process that should have been light years ahead of its current place in History. Fortunately, thanks to some good old American hard-work, intelligence and drive...we find ourselves on the cusp of yet another exciting chapter in space exploration.

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LAist only hopes that the $190,000 – $210,000 price tag for a quick trip into space comes down a little bit so we can take advantage of what must be the most amazing ride on Earth.