What I love about Burt Rutan's space ship, the first private vehicle to escape the Earth's atmosphere, is the way it evokes the space ships of the old Flash Gordon comics. I grew up with Flash, before I ever heard of Robert Goddard or Werner von Braun. To me, Rutan's SpaceShipOne and the White Knight mother ship bear an uncanny resemblance to the craft that carried Flash to the planet Mongo, more so than to the monstrous Roman-candlelike rockets and tin-can modules that took Apollo astronauts to the moon.
This old Flash Gordon fan now has renewed hope that somewhere out there among the stars my first true love, the lovely Princess Aura, daughter of Ming the Merciless, awaits my coming. Rutan, save me a seat.