[ 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
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
hundreds of aviation prizes stimulated the create of very different
each of which explored different regions of flight and different mechanisms
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."