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Thursday, April 29, 2004
Space.com: X Prize Will Be Won by 'Summer's End', Event Organizer Says
The race to loft a three-person spaceship on a suborbital flight twice in two weeks will be won by the end of the summer, the competition’s founder said Wednesday.
Peter Diamandis, chairman of the international X Prize competition to build and launch reusable spaceships, announced that the race will most likely be won in mere months.
“We do expect the X Prize to be captured within three to five months,” Diamandis said during a presentation here before the 41st Space Congress.
The X Prize is a competition between 27 teams across seven countries to design, build and develop a craft capable of launching three people 62.5 miles (100 kilometers) into space, returning them safely, then repeating the feat with the same vehicle within two weeks. The first team to make such a flight wins a $10 million purse, though the entrants have spent more than $50 million to develop their vehicles.
So far, the leader appears to be SpaceShipOne, an entry led by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites. With a launch license already in hand, and several test flights under his belt, Rutan appears poised to snag the X Prize. But Diamandis added that other teams are also well on their way, including the Canadian Da Vinci team headed by Brian Feeney, which has secured a launch license in Canada. Read More
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