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June 8, 2004

 

ADVISORY
Experts can discuss historic SpaceShipOne

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan has experts available to comment on the historic SpaceShipOne privately manned space flight, scheduled to launch June 21.

They are:

Peretz   Friedmann, director of the FXB Center for Rotary and Fixed Wing Design and co-director of the Space Technology Institute. Friedmann's research straddles the space industry and the airplane industry. He can discuss the technical aspects of building a vessel like SpaceShipOne and how close scientists are to making space flight more accessible to the general public. He can be reached at (734) 763-2354 or peretzf@umich.edu. For more on Friedmann, visit: http://www.engin.umich.edu/dept/aero/people/faculty/friedmann/index.html

James Driscoll, interim chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Driscoll's research specialties include supersonic combustion with scramjets in rocket-based combined cycles, nitric oxide formation in jet engine combustors, and studies of turbulent combustion. Driscoll can discuss the likelihood of widely available private space flight in the future, and what research projects are underway at U-M to help make space travel accessible to the public. He can be reached at (734) 936-0101 or jamesfd@engin.umich.edu. For more information, visit: http://www.engin.umich.edu/dept/aero/people/faculty/driscoll/index.html

SpaceShipOne's goal is to reach 62 miles (100 kilometers) in altitude, which is considered the boundary of outer space. That height is also the benchmark for the $10 million Ansari X Prize competition to see which team can reach that height first. The June 21 mission is backed by billionaire Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, and the craft was designed by aviation designer Burt Rutan.

 

Contact: Laura Bailey
Phone: (734) 647-7087 or (734) 647-1848
E-mail: baileylm@umich.edu