Milestones

GRANTED. THE FIRST LICENSE for a privately built rocket to take passengers on suborbital spaceflights; by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); in Washington, D.C. The space-launch license, which was given to a California company headed by aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan, represents "a big step" toward space tourism, said FAA spokesman Henry Price. Rutan's craft, dubbed SpaceShipOne, was successfully tested on Dec. 17 last year. It reaches high altitudes slung beneath the belly of White Knight, an ungainly jet aircraft, before being launched into space. The craft is competing for the $10 million "X Prize" for the first private team...

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