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X Prize

[ current events; technology ]
[ What is the X-Prize? ]

The X-Prize is an incentive for pioneers and entrepreneurs who are determined to be in the forefront of the commercialization of space.

From The X Prize web site:

What is the X Prize?
The X Prize is a 10 million dollar (USD) prize to jumpstart the space tourism industry through competition between the most talented rocket experts in the world. Over 20 teams from 5 countries have entered. The X PRIZE will be awarded to the first team that:
- Privately builds & launches a spaceship able to carry 3 people to 100 kilometers (62.5 miles) altitude.
-Returns safely to Earth and repeats the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks.

"The X PRIZE was founded on May 18,1996 in St. Louis for the specific purpose of
stimulating the creation of a new generation of launch vehicles designed to carry
passengers into space. Today if you are interested in flying there are only two options,
the US Space Shuttle or the Russian Soyuz, and neither of these are available at a
reasonable cost or on a regular basis to the general public. The problem is not the
lack of financial resources among today's adventure tourists, nor the demand in the marketplace,
but specifically the lack of licensed, low-cost, reliable vehicles. Taking a lesson from the history books,
we modeled the X PRIZE after the early aviation prizes. Between 1905 and 1935,
hundreds of aviation prizes stimulated the create of very different aircraft designs,
each of which explored different regions of flight and different mechanisms for optimizing
speed, safety and low cost travel. Today the X PRIZE is doing the same. Since our inception
three years ago over 19 teams have registered from five countries for the competition
and we have raised over $5M towards the prize."



The X Prize Website

some competitors:
Canadian Arrow
Armadillo Aerospace