Discovery Sets Space-Race Special


Discovery Channel will air exclusive footage of SpaceShipOne, winner of the $10 million “Ansari X Prize” space competition.

The network will debut Black Sky: Reaching for the X Prize Thursday at 9 p.m. (EST/PST).

Discovery’s production team was the only one granted access to aviation pioneer Burt Rutan and his engineers and test pilots, and the network will follow SpaceShipOne from its launch to when it reached suborbital space to its safe return to Earth in the California Mojave Desert.

SpaceShipOne was designed by Rutan, financed by Microsoft Corp. cofounder and Charter Communications Inc. chairman Paul G. Allen and piloted by veteran test pilot Brian Binnie.