R.I.P. Brian Binnie, who piloted SpaceShipOne on its second flight that won the Ansari X-Prize back in 2004, passed away on September 15, 2022 at the age of 69.
Brian’s record flight was the second of two SpaceShipOne flights needed to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The prize was given for the first privately-built crewed vehicle to make a flight above 100 km (62.1 miles) twice within two weeks. Mike Melvill made the first flight for the Ansari X Prize competition five days earlier.
The success of this private spaceship proved that private enterprise could do better than government, if given the chance. It laid the groundwork for the renaissance in American rocketry we are seeing today.
His part in this history must not be forgotten.