Another Review at MyShelf.Com

An Illustrated History
Foreward by Sir Arthur C. Clarke

by Dan Linehan

      When Scaled Composites lifted the veil of secrecy five years ago on its long term research project, aeronautics and space travel enthusiasts around the world had their first glimpse of SpaceShipOne.

Dan Linehan was present at the launch and now, in his book SpaceShipOne: An Illustrated History, the aviation and aerospace writer gives us the full story of the development, testing, and launch of SS1.

Combining the adventurous spirit of Charles Lindbergh with the entrepreneurial drive of Howard Hughes, this narrative chronicles how Burt Rutan and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines) put their heads together to create the world's first commercial manned space program.

The program the men developed and Linehan discusses includes the development of an airborne launcher (the White Knight), a space ship, rocket propulsion, avionics, a simulator, and a full ground support system.

With over 230 photos, illustrations, exclusive diagrams, and interviews with key personnel, this volume takes the reader from the conception and design to the deals that created Scaled Composites, the firm which executed the plans and will construct a fleet of commercial suborbital spaceships and launch aircraft.

Along with the story of the development, testing, and launch of SS1, Linehan details how the SS1 crew captured the Ansari X Prize. This was the highly coveted space competition in which the X Prize Foundation offered a ten million dollar prize for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.

For the individual interested in space travel or the person who has dreamed of challenging the final frontier, SpaceShipOne is a book that will be read over and over again. Here's the inside scoop on the bold project told in understandable terminology.

The Book

Zenith Press
June 2008
Non-fiction / General / Aviation
More at

The Reviewer

Bob Walch
Reviewed 2008
© 2008