SpaceShipOne was Earth's first privately funded manned spacecraft.
SpaceShipOne was Earth's first privately funded manned spacecraft.

A three inch piece of SpaceShipOne has been selected to accompany eight other mementos on the New Horizons spacecraft's journey to Pluto.  

The autoclaved carbon-fiber piece, part of the pilot seat made from preimpregnated carbon fabric and LTM 45 epoxy, was developed by Cory Bird, current vice president and general manager of Scaled Composites.

 ‘SpaceShipOne is part of a historic moment in spaceflight, as more private companies work to bring space access to everyone,’ said Kevin Mickey, president of Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. ‘We are honored to have been recognized for this by having this piece of SpaceShipOne's pilot seat on New Horizons, which has the potential to change the way we think about our solar system.’

SpaceShipOne was Earth's first privately funded manned spacecraft. In October 2004, it became the first private manned spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 328,000 ft twice in a 14-day period, winning the US$10 million Ansari X-Prize.

This story is reprinted from material from Scaled Composites, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.