Year Inducted: 2018
Michael Winston “Mike” Melvill is one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, the experimental spaceplane developed by Scaled Composites. Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne on its first flight past the edge of space – the first privately funded human spaceflight mission to reach space, on June 21, 2004 – thus becoming the first commercial astronaut.
He was also the pilot on SpaceShipOne’s flight 16P, the first competitive flight in the Ansari X Prize competition. Melvill is the sole or joint holder of nine FAI aviation world records in various categories.