Mike Melvill

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Mike Melvill
Melvill receiving the first commercial astronaut wings
Commercial Astronaut
US - FAA Astronaut Wings.png
Nationality South African / American
Born Michael Winston Melvill
(1940-11-30) November 30, 1940 (age 75)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Other occupation
Test pilot
Hilton College
Time in space
~10 mins
Selection SpaceShipOne 2003
Missions SpaceShipOne flight 15P, SpaceShipOne flight 16P

Michael Winston "Mike" Melvill (born November 30, 1940) is an Earthrounder[1] and one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, the experimental spaceplane developed by Scaled Composites. Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne on its first flight past the edge of space, flight 15P on June 21, 2004,[2] thus becoming the first commercial astronaut and the 434th person to go into space.[3] He was also the pilot on SpaceShipOne's flight 16P, the first competitive flight in the Ansari X Prize competition.[4]

Test pilot[edit]

Melvill met Burt Rutan when he showed Rutan the Rutan VariViggen he had built at his home.[5]

Awards and achievements[edit]

The first "Commercial Astronaut" Michael Winston "Mike" Melvill, reviews the first private space flight with Scott Crossfield

Melvill is the sole or joint holder of nine FAI aviation world records in various categories.[6]

Melvill was the pilot for SpaceShipOne flight 15P, SpaceShipOne's first spaceflight and the first privately funded human spaceflight mission to reach space, on the morning of June 21, 2004.[7]


  1. ^ "Chronological listing of all known flights around the World". Earthrounders.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Scaled Composites: combined white knight spaceshipone flight tests". Scaled.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  3. ^ "M.Melvill". Worldspaceflight.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  4. ^ "Astronaut Biography: Michael Melvill". Spacefacts.de. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  5. ^ "Melvill". Astronautix.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  6. ^ "History of Records: Michael W. MELVILL (USA)". records.fai.org. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Mike Melvill". Flyincruisein.com. 2004-06-21. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 

External links[edit]