EAA museum technician Mike Hertz works on the assembly of the full-size SpaceShipOne replica for the EAA AirVenture Museum.
The exhibit uses dramatic sound and lighting effects, as well as rare video footage - some never seen in public - to tell the story of a mission into space aboard SpaceShipOne. During this journey, EAA's replica spacecraft will demonstrate a key technological breakthrough conceived by spacecraft designer Burt Rutan. To safely re-enter the atmosphere without excessive heating, SpaceShipOne hinges in half, completely changing the shape of the vehicle. This amazing physical transformation, which "feathers" the spacecraft for re-entry, will occur before museum visitors' eyes as part of the exhibit.
The SpaceShipOne exhibit will be part of the Innovations Gallery, which salutes pioneering designs and flight accomplishments by EAA members and other designers. Six other aircraft designed by Rutan, a longtime EAA member, are part of that area, including a full-size mock-up of the Voyager, which became the first aircraft to fly around the world nonstop on one tank of fuel in 1986. The actual Voyager and SpaceShipOne are displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Rutan, Melvill, and other members of the SpaceShipOne team are scheduled to attend EAA AirVenture 2006 and make several presentations about their ongoing work to launch the space tourism industry.