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SPACE SHIP WON; Craft reaches stars.

Byline: ANTHONY HARWOOD

SPACE tourism took a giant leap yesterday as a private craft won the pounds 6million prize for being the first to soar 62 miles above Earth twice.

This time SpaceShipOne, funded by Microsoft and built by pioneer Burt Rutan, didn't suffer the heart-stopping rolls which troubled the first flight.

Sir Richard Branson was with Rutan when the space ship, which can carry three people, touched down in the Mojave desert, California, after 81 minutes.

Rutan will build spacecraft for Virgin Galactic flights to the stars by 2007. John Spencer, of the Space Tourism Society, said: "This is a milestone for humanity."

SpaceShipOne beat 24 teams from six other countries.

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RETURN: SpaceShipOne yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 5, 2004
Words:117
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