RUTAN SPACE VEHICLE TOPS 211,000 FEET The suborbital SpaceShipOne funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and designed by Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites in Mojave, California, achieved another milestone last Thursday. To win the $10 million prize offered by the X Prize Foundation in St. Louis, the spaceship must reach 62.5 miles twice in a two-week period prior to January 1, 2005. Last Friday the rocket ship, piloted by Mike Melvill, reached 211,400 feet and a speed of Mach 2.5. The rocket engine cut off after 55 seconds at 150,000 feet, and the craft coasted to its peak altitude. During a portion of the flight, the flight director display was inoperative, but Melvill continued the climb using the external horizon.