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Wednesday, May 05, 2004
CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARY OF HISTORIC SPACE FLIGHT, ANSARI FAMILY'S DONATION GIVES HUGE BOOST TO FUTURE SPACE TRAVEL AND TOURISM
Entrepreneurs Anousheh Ansari and Amir Ansari, today announced a multimillion dollar contribution to the X PRIZE Foundation which runs an international competition among private spaceships designed to fly the general public into space. On this day, the 43rd anniversary of astronaut Alan Shepard's suborbital flight into space, the X PRIZE competition is being renamed the ANSARI X PRIZE Competition to reflect the newly-established title sponsorship. The ANSARI X PRIZE is modeled after the $25,000 Orteig Prize won by Charles Lindbergh in 1927 for his historic flight from New York to Paris.
The ANSARI X PRIZE will award $10 million to the first private organization to build and fly a ship that can carry three passengers 100 km (62 miles) into space, return safely to Earth and repeat the launch with the same ship within two weeks. Both flights must be completed by January 1st, 2005. The competition has been endorsed by leading space and aviation organizations around the world and includes the vision to jump-start the commercialization of space travel and industry the same way that Orteig Prize opened today's commercial airways.
Space exploration has always been a childhood dream for both Anousheh and brother-in-law Amir, who were born in Iran. "As a child I looked at the stars and dreamed of being able to travel into space," said Anousheh, an avid space enthusiast. "As an adult, I understand that the only way this dream will become a reality is with the participation of private industry and the creative passion of smart entrepreneurs. The ANSARI X PRIZE provides the perfect vehicle to ignite the imagination and passion of fellow entrepreneurs, giving them and their courageous pilots a platform for success." Read More
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