SpaceShipOne - it's a nail-biter

Here's another good documentary from YouTube. This one's about Burt Rutan, a famous airplane designer, and his efforts to win the X-prize, the competition set up in the U.S. to reward the first private company to take passengers into space on two separate trips, less than a fortnight apart. In other words, a competition to encourage the development of a privately designed, constructed and tested commercial spaceship.

I only knew a little about the SpaceShipOne project before I watched the video, and I had no idea how they had got on with their craft, so I found the documentary both exciting, intriguing and a complete nail-biter. I really didn't know what was going to happen at any point in the documentary and because they were doing a lot of the project work on a shoe-string, with an entirely new design of craft, without wind-tunnel testing or advanced simulations or an exhaustive series of tests to cover every possible potential problem, it really felt as if there could be a disaster at any point in the story. Gripping stuff (Note: it's not 1080p and it's actually only an hour-and-a-half long).