SpaceShipOne can change its wing position for reentry, to reduce friction


A three-place, high-altitude research rocket, designed for sub-orbital flights to 100 km altitude. The unique configuration allows aircraft-like qualities for boost, glide, and landing. The ship converts (pneumatic-actuated 'feather') to a stable, high-drag shape for atmospheric entry.

This “Care-Free” configuration allows a 'handsoff' reentry and greatly reduces aero/thermal loads. Designed for a 'shirt-sleeve' environment, the 60” diameter cabin has a space-qualified ECS and dualpane windows. The ship uses three flight control systems - manual-subsonic, electric-supersonic and cold-gas RCS.

Source: scaled.comAdded: 23 March 2007