UK company Starchaser Industries launched a prototype of the world's first privately developed, piloted spacecraft on 22 November. The 11m- (36ft) long Nova booster flew from Cartmel Wharf, Morecambe Bay, as part of Starchaser's bid to win the $10 million X-Prize by flying three people into space on sub-orbital rides twice within two weeks. The unmanned, 4t-thrust solid-propellant Nova, the third prototype vehicle made by Starchaser, reached a speed of 800km/h (500mph)in 6s, and reached an altitudeof 6,000ft (1,830m).

Source: Flight International