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Java programmer wins space flight

Antony Savvas

A Java programmer from San Jose, California, has won an Oracle competition to fly in a sub-orbital spacecraft.

Brian Emmett was one of 10,000 programmers who entered the competition to join aircraft designer Burt Rutan on his next sub-orbital flight.

The 30-year-old programmer is scheduled to fly in Rutan’s SpaceShipTwo within the next three years.

Rutan designed SpaceShipOne, which reached an altitude of 62 miles twice last October. Sixty-two miles is 10 times higher than the highest-flying commercial airliner.

The forthcoming flight will be high enough to allow Emmett to see the curvature of the Earth's surface.

Emmett was already a space enthusiast before he won the competition.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is expected to help finance SpaceShipTwo.


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