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Thursday, March 25, 2004

XP Cup Update: Florida, New Mexico compete to host X Prize Cup
chabot imageIn the home stretch of its bid to host the X Prize Cup, Florida Space Authority board members expressed a determination to beat out fellow finalist New Mexico. Hurdles remain to convince Gov. Jeb Bush as Florida tweaks its final pitch. "I personally would consider this a must win," said Deborah Barnhart, a board of supervisors member for the authority and vice president with Honeywell International. A final decision by the X Prize Foundation, sponsor of the $10 million competition for private manned space flight, is expected in mid-April. The cup is designed to motivate the 27 teams from seven countries now competing for the X Prize to continue their work. Tracy Hegler, the manager of spaceport transportation planning for the Space Authority, said New Mexico's bid includes a $9 million commitment to build infrastructure and market the annual competition. Furthermore, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has met with X Prize officials and publicly supported his state's effort. "I think all they really need is a hug from the governor," said Kenneth Haiko, vice chair of the Space Authority board, and accounts manager for Sun Container Inc. Pam Dana, director of the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, said Bush needed to have questions answered before he could do that. "I'm not going to put that governor in any precarious position," Dana said. "I don't need to be a naysayer, but there are some big issues here." Read More
Original Announcement: X-Prize foundation selects Florida and New Mexico as finalists


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