SpaceShipOne Mystery Solved

Late last night I posted on a rumor that Google had acquired SpaceShipOne and was putting it in building 43 at Google HQ in Mountain View. More information started coming in immediately from commenters. One reader emailed to tell me Larry Page is on the Board of Trustees of the X Prize foundation (SpaceShipOne won their challenge), establshing a connection. But other commenters sent in recent pictures of SpaceShipOne at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. My source was good, but it was clear there was more to the story. To solve the mystery I said I’d send an iPod Shuffle to the first person that took a picture of the ship today and sent it to me.

Thanks to readers, I now know the rumor is false. Google did not acquire SpaceShipOne. But they did acquire a full scale replica of the ship and have indeed installed it in building 43 at Google. We have video of the actual ship today at the Smithsonian (see below), as well as two independent photographs of the replica at Google HQ. We’re sending all three people iPod Shuffles. Congrats to Chris Seline at Searchles (video of actual ship), Karl D (replica pictures – top left and bottom) and Willard McClellan (replica picture – top right). My favorite picture is this one, showing the crane they’ll use to get the replica ship into Google. Also see here and here. The video and pictures are below.

By the way, if you’d like to get your own full scale replica of SpaceShipOne, you can.

I love the Internet.