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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
New Mexico to host manned spaceflight race
New Mexico has been selected to host a competition to achieve the first privately funded manned spaceflight, Gov. Bill Richardson announced Monday.
The governor said the state won over Florida, California and Oklahoma to host the X Prize Cup.
The X-Prize contest calls for launching a manned craft to 62.5 miles above the Earth, which is generally considered the edge of space, twice within two weeks. The craft must be able to carry three people.
The X Prize competition will give $10 million to the first company or person to successfully launch the craft.
The initial launch of the contest, the next stage after the xprize is won, will be held at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
Organizers of the X Prize have said teams could attempt the space trip as early as this summer. Twenty-seven teams are expected to pursue the prize, and many have conducted test launches.
Lawmakers allocated $9 million during the last legislative session to host the X Prize Cup and develop the state's inland spaceport.
The X Foundation, a St. Louis-based group created to promote the development of private, reusable launch vehicles, is supported by donors including Dennis Tito, an American who spent $20 million to fly in a Russian craft as the first space tourist, and Erik Lindbergh, a pilot and grandson of Charles Lindbergh.
The group's mission is to build what they believe is a $20 billion market for private citizens to travel to space. They liken the prize to those offered early in the 20th century that helped propel the aviation industry.
Note; the Space.com article mixes up the diffrence between the x-prize and x-prize cup, the text above has been modified with the right information.
The [X-Prize] contest calls for launching a manned craft to 62.5 miles above the Earth, which is generally considered the edge of space, twice within two weeks, while the X-Prize cup has manny more challanges and not the need to fly twice within a 2 weeks time frame.
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