Tuesday, April 20, 2004

NASCAR in Space

Space.com gives this overview of the X Prize, which is offering ten million to the first group to shoot a three-person spacecraft 100 kilometers into space, safely lands and do it again with the same ship in two weeks. It seems they also are creating a more direct competition:
The X Prize Foundation, based in St. Louis, Missouri, is in the midst of analyzing bids from both Florida and New Mexico for one of them to be the picked as the spaceport of choice for the first annual X Prize Cup.

Diamandis said the cup would be a two-week event, taking place at the same location each year. X prize teams would be invited to fly as many times as they can. 'They would set records and compete in different categories, such as maximum altitude, time-to-climb, the fastest vehicle turn-around, number of people carried during a single flight or during the course of the two weeks,' he explained.
This 'friends and family' type of gathering would allow public viewing of perhaps a 100 spaceship launches throughout the two weeks, Diamandis envisions.
I'm saving up my vacation time for this one....