"Betty, it was something else, it was a little piece of history here, actually a significant piece of space history. Let's see, there's Alan Shepard, Yuri Gagarin and now Mike Melvill, of all people, 62 years old, originally from South Africa, just got his astronaut's wings pinned onto him. But he's the first person to wear astronaut wings that are of a civilian nature."
"He greased it, in pilot's terms, did really well, walked out and was greeted by the designer of this craft, the aviation legend Burt Rutan, as well as the sugar daddy for this project, Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, who staked him to about $20 million or so to make all this happen. Now $20 million, that is just pennies on the dollar by -- when you consider what NASA pays for a space flight. Space shuttle mission is about $500 million, $20 million got an entire space program going and Mike Melvill got to relate to all of us what it was like."
-- Miles O'Brien (not the Chief Petty Officer)