Department of Music
Phone: (509) 527-2561

02/10/05 3:52 pm Age: 11 yrs

SpaceShipOne Aerodynamicist Featured

By: Tara Jeske

At Engineer's Week Dinner and Lecture

To celebrate National Engineer’s Week, Walla Walla College’s School of Engineering will host a dinner and lecture featuring speaker Jim Tighe, chief aerodynamicist at Scaled Composites, the company that recently was awarded the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first private, manned spacecraft.

Tighe’s lecture is entitled “SpaceShipOne: Winning the $10 million Ansari X Prize.” The dinner will be Thursday, Feb. 24, at 6:30 p.m., at the Marcus Whitman Hotel Conference Center. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $12 for students. Please call 527-2765 for reservations by Friday, Feb. 18.

The spacecraft, SpaceShipOne was launched from the White Knight Oct. 4, 2004 and flew to an altitude 69.6 miles. Tighe worked on the layout of the aerodynamic design of the White Knight and SpaceShipOne. He did the computational fluid dynamics for both aircraft, wrote the SS1 Simulator used for engineering work and pilot training, helped with avionics development and is part of the mission control team.

Tighe will give an overview of the aircraft systems, and talk about some of the aerodynamic aspects. He will also describe novel design, simulation, and construction techniques.


The Ansari X Prize is a $10 million prize to jumpstart the space tourism industry through competition among the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world. The prize is awarded to the first team to privately finance, built and launch a spaceship able to carry three people to a sub-orbital altitude of 100 kilometers (62.5 miles) on two consecutive flights within two weeks.

The X Prize Foundation is working to make space travel possible for all. The prize was inspired by aviation prizes of the 20th century, specifically the trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh, which won the $25,000 Orteig prize in 1927.

For more information visit the Edward F. Cross School of Engineering home page.



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