Scaled Composites CEO Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen are spearheading the effort to prove that safe, economical, commercial space travel is possible. This effort has taken shape in the form of the privately funded, fledgling space program known as Tier One.
Rutan is known for many accomplishments in the field of aeronautical engineering. Among them is his design of the aircraft Voyager. Voyager was the first plane to fly around the Earth without refueling. As the team leader, Rutan has committed himself to proving that Tier One is a feasible space program by building a ship that can carry people into sub-orbital space. Allen is committed to providing the funds, resources and support needed to get the job done. Together, the two have become the face of the drive for commercial space travel.
Allen's belief in the project and those working on it is evident:
Rutan and his Scaled Composites team are building this space program from scratch. In just a few years and with fewer than 30 people, the Tier One program has turned out some of the most innovative designs in the industry.
Burt Rutan had this to say about the history and direction of Tier One:
For more information on SpaceShipOne and other spacecraft, check out the links on the next page.