Starchaser successfully launched a 6m (20ft)-tall, two-stage test rocket to 20,000ft (6,100m) from Morecambe Bay in the UK on 6 July to test the emergency escape system rocket designed for use on its Thunderbird booster. The UK company hopes to win a $10 million offered by US-based X-Prize Foundation by launching three people on two consecutive suborbital spaceflights during two weeks in 2004. It is one of 18 international contestants in the competition and hopes to launch its first X-Prize Thunderbird model on a test flight in 2001.

Source: Flight International