Helmet, SpaceShipOne, Mike Melvill


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

Test pilot Mike Melvill wore this helmet on June 21, 2004, during the first privately funded spaceflight of SpaceShipOne. After its launch from a carrier aircraft called White Knight, Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne to an altitude of 100 km (62 miles) before returning to land in Mojave, California. This test flight paved the way for two subsequent flights that earned the SpaceShipOne team the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first privately funded spaceflights. Melvill also wore this helmet on September 29, 2004, during one of those award-winning flights. Melvill partnered with Burt Rutan in a long career of designing and flight testing experimental aircraft. He gave his flight suit, helmet, and other accessories to the Museum in 2005 when SpaceShipOne entered the national collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of Mike and Sally Melvill



Mike Melvill

Country of Origin

United States of America


Fiberglas, Steel, Aluminum, Leather, Nylon, Synthetic fabric, Paint, Velcro, Rubber/Neoprene, Polycarbonate, Plastic, Brass


3-D: 25.4 x 25.4 x 25.4cm (10 x 10 x 10 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum



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