Rutan and the team at Scaled Composites successfully launched and completed a mission that brings them one step closer to securing the coveted Ansari X Prize designed to foster private entry into space. Today SpaceShipOne attained the required altitude of 62.5 miles into suborbital space and returned safely to Earth, putting Scaled Composites into a confident lead among 27 contenders.
Next, Rutan and the Scaled team will make a formal bid for the prize by launching the spacecraft with three astronauts aboard (or one astronaut and the equivalent weight of two more) to the suborbital altitude, bringing it safely to Earth, and then repeating the feat within two weeks using the same craft. Besides collecting the $10,000,000 X Prize, the winning team of this final leg will make history, demonstrating that civilian space travel is possible in the near future, funded not by the world's most powerful governments, but by independent entrepreneurs.
Rutan has used Vellum products for a decade. The Scaled Composite designers today confirmed that they designed the majority of SpaceShipOne and its companion aircraft, White Knight, in Cobalt. Ashlar-Vellum's president, Robert Bou, stated, "We feel proud to work with such a brilliant and innovative team of designers and to be a part of their historic endeavor." Bou adds, "I recently had the privilege of visiting the Scaled Composites team in the Mojave. They told me that when they've tried to use our competitor's software for their designs it doubled their engineering costs. Cobalt's Vellum(R) interface so fluidly works the way they think that it allows designers to come up with multiple what ifs, easily refining the design for winning results."
Founded in 1988, Ashlar-Vellum is the leading developer and marketer of precise 2D & 3D Windows and Macintosh software products that automate and simplify industrial, mechanical, and commercial design processes for drafting, design, and engineering professionals. Ashlar-Vellum's Vellum(R) user interface and powerful toolsets have earned the loyalty of conceptual thinkers around the world. To learn more about Ashlar-Vellum call 800-877-2745 or visit www.ashlar-vellum.com.
Ashlar-Vellum Sarah Slaughter, 512-250-2186 ext. 122