Burt Rutan

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Burt Rutan in 2011

Elbert Leander "Burt" Rutan (born June 17, 1943) is an American aerospace engineer noted for his originality in designing light, strong, unusual-looking, energy-efficient aircraft, including the SpaceShipOne.


  • If you don't have a consensus that it's nonsense, you don't have a breakthrough.
    • From article: Taylor, Chris (Nov. 29, 2004). The Sky's the Limit. Time, p. 67.
  • I strongly feel that, if we are successful, our program will mark the beginning of a renaissance for manned space flight. This might even be similar to that wonderful time period between 1908 and 1912 when the world went from a total of ten airplane pilots to hundreds of airplane types and thousands of pilots in 39 countries. We need affordable space travel to inspire our youth, to let them know that they can experience their dreams, can set significant goals and be in a position to lead all of us to future progress in exploration, discovery and fun. Thanks to the X PRIZE [Foundation] for the inspiration.
  • To have breakthroughs, you must have confidence in nonsense, okay?  That's why only weird guys tend to have the breakthroughs: a sensible person won't have a breakthrough 'cause he writes it off real quickly as nonsense and, therefore, he doesn't ever do something that's nonsense.
    • "Inside the New Space Race," Space's Deepest Secrets (S2E17, first aired 5 September 2017, 9:07:01–9:07:19 PM EST).

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