The X PRIZE Foundation Newsletter - November 2, 2004 (hosted by
IN THIS ISSUE:
31 October 2004
After eight years it's amazing to think that the Ansari X PRIZE has actually
been achieved, and next Saturday we will turn over the $10 million check and
the 5-foot tall trophy to Burt Rutan and the Mojave Aerospace Ventures team.
The festivities will take place in St. Louis on Saturday, 6 November. Populated
with the heroes of private spaceflight, you won't want to miss this chance to
meet Mike Melvill, Brian Binnie, Burt Rutan, and many more!
The deadline for RSVP is Tuesday (a.m.), 2 November, so call now to secure your
seat! RSVP @ 314.289.4420 or 314.286.4633
The fuse has been lit, and the personal spaceflight revolution has started.
Unlike the Apollo moon race which ended in political ambivalence, this race
will ignite an economic engine that will drive prices down and reliability
I congratulate all of the Teams for their efforts and hope they will continue
their work in pursuit of both the billion-dollar commercial markets, as well as
the X PRIZE Cup in New Mexico.
I also wish to thank the entire X PRIZE Management team, volunteers, members,
New Spirit Members, donors and sponsors. Without your support this would not
have been acheived.
I feel proud of our accomplishments, honored to have worked with such and
amazing team of people, and totally energized as I realize that my lifelong
goal and dream of private spaceflight is becoming a reality.
We have accomplished great things together for the cause of space, but our
journey is far from over. I look forward to your friendship and partnership in
the future as we continue to work to open up private spaceflight for all!
To the Stars!
Peter H. Diamandis
Chairman & Founder, X PRIZE Foundation
The ANSARI X PRIZE is Won!
SpaceShipOne and the Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team reaches
over 360,000 feet to win the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE over the skies of
Mojave Spaceport on October 4th. The threshold of space and minimum altitude
for gaining the ANSARI X PRIZE is 328,000 feet. Brian Binnie, who piloted the
winning flight was released from it's mothership White Knight at
48,000 feet early Monday morning. Binnie continued into space breaking the
August 22, 1963 record by Joseph A. Walker who flew the X-15 to an
unofficial world altitude record of 354,200 feet.
"After eight years its amazing to think that the Ansari X PRIZE has actually
been achieved," says X PRIZE Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis, "Next Saturday
we will turn over the $10 million check and the 5-foot tall trophy to Burt
Rutan and the Mojave Aerospace Ventures team."
"The fuse has been lit, and the personal spaceflight revolution has started,"
continues Diamandis, "Unlike the Apollo moon race which ended in political
ambivalence, this race will ignite an economic engine that will drive prices
down and reliability upward."
The $10 million prize check and an amazing trophy will be awarded to the Mojave
Aerospace Ventures Team at the ANSARI X PRIZE Awards Celebration in St. Louis
on November 6 (see next article for details on Celebration).
Photo Caption: Newly Minted Astronaut Brian Binnie speaks to the audience after
his historic flight.
Photo by Sam Coniglio,
ANSARI X PRIZE Awards Celebration
After years of dreams, work and dedication by all involved, the ANSARI X PRIZE
has been captured and it's time to celebrate! The X PRIZE Awards Celebration,
to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, will be an event unlike any other. Imagine
if you had been invited to mingle with Orville and Wilbur Wright the night they
celebrated their first flight... or to attend the awarding of the Orteig Prize
to Charles Lindbergh. This is your chance to be there! Meet the visionaries ""
Paul Allen and Burt Rutan, the pilots Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie and their
team that changed our world! We ask that you support the St. Louis Science
Center's educational activities inspired by the Ansari X Prize by becoming a
"White Knight" donor for the evening at $1,500 for two attendees. Limited
tickets for the evening are available at $275 per person.Seating is limited and
the deadline is Monday, November 1st so call now! RSVP: 314.286.4633
ANSARI X PRIZE Cup Announced
After the success of the ANSARI X PRIZE, the ANSARI X PRIZE Foundation looks to
the future answering the burning question "what's next" with the ANSARI X
PRIZE CUP. The X PRIZE CUP will be an annual 5-day event combining
the excitement and raw thrills of the X-Games, the open spirit of Burning Man
with the technical sophistication of air and auto racing and the unspoiled
beauty of a new frontier! Beginning in summer 2006 with an exhibitionary
kick-off event, X PRIZE CUP is aiming for a full-fledged space-racing
extravaganza by summer 2007 with teams competing from all over the world!
World Technology Network and ANSARI X PRIZE Foundation Announce Technology Prizes
Following the successful winning of the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE on October
4th, 2004, the ANSARI X PRIZE Foundation and the World Technology Network (WTN)
announced a joint venture to launch a series of technology incentive prizes for
a myriad of technology fields. The announcement made by Peter Diamandis,
Chairman and CEO of the ANSARI X PRIZE Foundation and James Clark, Chairman and
Founder of the World Technology Network, was made in San Francisco during WTN's
2004 World Technology Summit & Awards.
The intention of the WTN X PRIZES is to inspire innovation and
bring about breakthrough results with wide-ranging societal implications, such
as life extension, molecular assemblers, water purification, hydrogen
generation, and similar ambitious goals. These leaps in research and
development would help open new markets. For more information, go to:
ANSARI X PRIZE Flights Breaks Records on the Internet!
The successful ANSARI X PRIZE flights on September 29 and October 4, 2004 were
witnessed by a record number of people via an exciting live webcast over the
Internet. For both events, a combined 40,000 simultaneous viewers watched the
event online. In total, there were over one million requests by people to view
the launch videos. For those of you who missed it, the webcasts are all
archived at the ANSARI X PRIZE website:
The World Watches: X PRIZE Launches Attract Amazing Media Coverage
The amazing flights of SpaceShipOne for the ANSARI X PRIZE Competition
had coverage in 363 domestic papers and 164 international papers. Over 550
members of the media attended the September 29th flight, and over 750 media
people attended the October 4th flight. Some of the coverage came from major
newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Magazines
including TIME and Newsweek covered the event as well. On TV, ABC, CBS, and NBC
were there as well as CNN and the BBC.
X PRIZE Foundation Supporters REALLY Fuel the "New Race to Space"
As a non-profit organization, the X PRIZE Foundation depends solely on donations
to fund our mission to open up space travel for all and to educate the world
about private space travel. In the few months leading up to the flights to
claim the ANSARI X PRIZE there were 1500 new members joining the Foundation via
web donations alone! Thanks to all of you new and existing members for that
kind of support; it's what makes us "GO"!!!
Another source of "rocket fuel" for our efforts comes from carefully-chosen
sponsorships. Champ Car World Series Racing became our Presenting
Sponsor earlier this year, and the connection between high-tech open wheel
racing and private space travel has been a natural. A special thank you goes to Champ
Car World Series for their participation in the launches in Mojave. Champ
Car, Kevin Kalkhoven, and PKV Racing brought us several
race cars, hospitality trucks, food and beverage service, and other support
that made the Mojave launches a special experience.
Recently, we welcomed two new Major Sponsors: M&M's Chocolate Candies®
and 7-Up® brand soft drinks. 7-Up® for years known as
"the UNcola" has, as its brand cornerstone, the idea of challenging the field
of other soft drinks. With the X PRIZE Foundation challenging how the world has
traditionally looked at space travel, the partnership with 7-Up makes
perfect sense for both parties. 7-Up graciously provided the beverages
for both ANSARI X PRIZE launches, as well as providing some interesting news at
our Press Conference (see related story below). As the tag line for the new
relationship says: "The only way to go is UP." We most certainly agree!
M&M®s are twenty-plus year veterans of space travel, having
traveled into space aboard various Shuttle missions before Mike Melvill "flew"
the colorful candies on his flight as the world's first commercial astronaut
back in June. "Bringing Color to Space" is how the new relationship with X
PRIZE is billed, and we were excited to see "Red" (one of the more interesting M&M®s
characters) fly into space on the side of White Knight and SpaceShipOne.
M&M®s printed up some special "ANSARI X PRIZE Commemorative Mix" M&M®s
for us to distribute at the launches. Each candy had either a small rocket icon
or the word "GO" printed on it!
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL THE AMAZING PEOPLE AND COMPANIES WHO ARE HELPING TO MAKE
THE DREAM OF PRIVATE SPACEFLIGHT A REALITY!!!
Photo Caption: Pilot and Astronaut Mike Melville poses with two racing machines.
Photo courtesy X PRIZE Foundation
The X PRIZE Foundation Gains Two New Members!
Director of Team Relations & Special Projects
Pilot and space enthusiast, Brooke Owens just joined up with
the X PRIZE Foundation as the Director of Team Relations & Special
Projects. Brooke will act as the liaison between the Foundation and the teams,
working to incorporate the ideas and visions of the various teams into the
future of the X PRIZE CUP. In addition, she will play an active role in concept
development for future prizes such as X PRIZE CUP, the WTN X PRIZES and others
as they occur. Previously a Research Historian for NASA JSC, Brooke holds a
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and
Master's of Space Studies from the International Space University. Said Ms.
Owens, "I'm thrilled at the opportunity to work with such an amazing collection
of individuals in this private spaceflight revolution," said Brooke, "We will
go forward and continue to make the dream of private spaceflight a reality!"
To contact Ms. Owens, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VP of Business Development
In his new role as Vice President of Business Development, Keith Powers
is responsible for the X PRIZE's corporate sponsorship program as well as a
number of other mission critical activities. An entrepreneur at heart, Keith
has an eclectic background that includes leadership roles in startups, in
corporate America and in the non-profit world. He has a wide range of
experience in the USA, Latin America and Asia that includes strategic planning,
interactive and traditional advertising and marketing, promotions, event
marketing, financial planning, operations, retail consulting, licensing, and
organizational development. As an accomplished senior manager and marketing
professional with experience working in both agency and client environments,
Keith understands the key ingredients required to build and maintain mutually
beneficial sponsorship products. Keith received his B.A. with Honors from
Northeastern University and his MBA from Thunderbird-The Garvin School of
International Management. Keith has lived, worked or studied in over 30
countries and is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Japanese.
To contact Keith please email him at Powers@Xprize.org.
Richard Branson Announces Agreement with Mojave Aerospace Ventures
Just before the first historic ANSARI X PRIZE flight, Sir Richard Branson
announced that Virgin Group has entered into an agreement to
license the technology to develop the world's first privately funded spaceships
dedicated to carrying commercial passengers on space flights. The technology is
currently owned by a Paul Allen company called Mojave Aerospace Ventures
("M.A.V.") and was originally developed to fulfill Paul Allen's
vision of building the world's first privately funded, reusable space vehicle SpaceShipOne.
A licensing deal with M.A.V. could be worth up to £14 million ($21.5
million) over the next fifteen years depending on the number of spaceships
built by Virgin.
Photo courtesy of Virgin Group.
ANSARI X PRIZE and Scaled Composites Honored at Space Frontier Conference
The Space Frontier Foundation Saturday bestowed two prestigious
awards on Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites Tier One Team,
creators of SpaceShipOne, and the ANSARI X PRIZE Foundation,
for their recent dramatic contributions in opening the space frontier.
"These two organizations have done what no one in the private sector has ever
done before - flown a civilian in space on a commercial rocketship, and by
doing so they blew the hinges off the door to the frontier." said the
Foundation's Rick Tumlinson. "It is only fitting that the Space Frontier
Foundation gives its highest honors to those who have flown the highest. We are
proud to be able to recognize their accomplishments."
The awards were presented at the Foundation's annual conference on the RMS Queen
Mary in Long Beach California, Oct.8-10, 2004. For further information
go to: http://www.space-frontier.org
Photo Caption: X PRIZE Foundation Vice Chairman Robert K. Weiss and Aerospace
Pioneer Burt Rutan pose with their awards at the Space Frontier Banquet.
Photo by Samuel Coniglio,
Incredible Adventures and Rocketplane Ltd. Join Forces
Incredible Adventures, the Sarasota Florida-based company best
known for offering supersonic MiG flights, and Rocketplane Limited, Inc.,
an Oklahoma corporation dedicated to revolutionizing space travel, have signed
a marketing agreement. Both companies will soon begin taking reservations for
Rocketplane's suborbital spaceflight experience, slated to launch in 2007.
For more information, please visit RocketPlane's website:
Image courtesy of Rocketplane Limited, Inc.
Starchaser Making Advances in Fuel, Escape System, Engine
The UK-based Starchaser Industries is making strides in
propulsion and personnel safety. They recently received several key components
for their High Test Peroxide processing plant, which will allow them to produce
their own high grade hydrogen peroxide fuel. They will be in position to run a
series of catalyst pack tests within a few weeks (peroxide uses a catalyst,
such as silver, to cause a propulsive reaction).
In addition, the company is accelerating their Launch Escape System (LES)
program and plan to test a scaled version of the LES in early 2005 from a UK
launch site. With most of the composite work on the full-scale Thunderstar
boilerplate capsule nearing completion, Starchaser are looking forward to test
fitting the full Launch Escape System before Christmas. The boilerplate capsule
is also currently being used to facilitate detailed escape hatch design and
Finally, the combustion chamber, engine bell and outer cooling jacket of
Starchaser's next generation rocket engine are now complete. After a few
delays, Starchaser will take delivery of their first Churchill Mark III
liquid propellant rocket engine. With an average thrust of 147 KN (33,000 lbf),
the Mark III LOX / kerosene engine is five times more powerful than
the Mark II and will qualify as the largest liquid rocket engine to have been
built in the UK since the British Government cancelled it's rocket development
programme more than 30 years ago.
Photo Caption: Churchill Mark III liquid propellant rocket engine.
Photo courtesy of Starchaser Industries.
Pablo de Leon and Associates Vow to Continue Work
After the successful flight of SpaceShipOne, and the winning of the
ANSARI X PRIZE, Pablo de Leon and Associates, the ANSARI X
PRIZE competitor from of Buenos Aires, Argentina announced that their team will
continue development towards the development of a suborbital transport.
"We are seriously committed to this project," said team leader Pablo DeLeon,
"and we already spent enough time and effort in our development, so our goal is
to continue until we see it finished no matter how long will take. We believe
there is a future in suborbital transportation."
See the latest updates at http://www.pablodeleon.com/
Photo courtesy of Pablo de Leon and Associates.
Interorbital Joins America's Space Prize Competition
The ANSARI X PRIZE may have already been won, but Interorbital Systems
is continues its efforts toward space tourism. According to MSNBC.com,
Interorbital is currently constructing two new rockets: the Nano, which
will send tiny satellites into orbit, and the Neptune, a rocket
capable of ferrying up to eight people into orbit. The team plans to compete
for the "America's Space Prize" that is being offered by entrepreneur Robert
Bigelow for a private vehicle that can carry passengers to Earth orbit. "The
fact that this orbital prize has come up is really interesting to us," team
co-leader Randa Milliron told MSNBC.com. Testing will continue later this
Image courtesy of Interorbital Systems.
PanAero, Inc. Adapting Condor-X for Low Wing Loading
PanAero, Inc. is in the process of adapting its Condor-X
concept for the ANSARI X PRIZE to a scaled-down aircraft with an extremely low
wing loading. This aircraft should be capable of three types of missions:
Set a new aircraft altitude record using rocket propulsion;
Launch a one-ton expendable upper-stage package from an altitude of about 35
km. The upper-stage package is designed to put a 20-kg satellite into low Earth
orbit at a target recurring operational cost of $100,000 per flight;
Perform various high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft missions at far lower
costs than other aircraft designed for such missions by using turbocharged
For more information click on:
Image courtesy of PanAero, Inc.
Lexington Rocket Mockups Are Huge Success at Launch Events
Amid all the excitement of SpaceShipOne winning the 10 million dollar
ANSARI X PRIZE, it would be hard to miss the amazing mockups of three other
teams: the Armadillo Aerospace Black Armadillo rocket,
the Suborbital Corporation C-21 spaceplane and the
Da Vinci Project Wild Fire rocket. The Mockups were
created by Lexington, a corporate sponsor of the X-Prize
Lexington, after being captivated by the amazing challenge and spirit of the
ANSARI X PRIZE team, built the Rocket Garden in less than two months. This
might have been a challenge for most companies, but not for Lexington with its
long history of designing and producing science, children's, and art related
traveling exhibitions. The company is well known for producing spectacular
custom interior and exterior scenic environments and specialty construction for
the themed entertainment industry, restaurants and retail, trade shows, and
corporate art. Lexington is a company comprised of artists that successfully
translates the imaginations of their clients into reality through custom design
and fabrication. California Art Products, located in North Hollywood, CA, also
helped by donating half of the fiberglass pieces needed for the rockets.
Photo Caption: Lexinton built the scale mockups of the Armadillo Aerospace Black
Armadillo rocket (left), the Suborbital Corporation C-21 spaceplane (middle)
and the Da Vinci Wild Fire rocket (right).
Photo courtesy of Lexington.
X PRIZE VP Takes X PRIZE to Alaska and Rocket Sculptures to Space
Erik Lindberg, grandson of famous Aviator Charles Lindberg and
Trustee of the ANSARI X PRIZE Foundation, is presenting lectures about the
ANSARI X PRIZE at venues around the USA. Recently, Erik gave lectures on the
"Oosterdam" Cruise Ship in Alaska, International City Managers Association
convention in San Diego, Aviation High School in Seattle, and the Arthritis
Foundation in Seattle.
Also a fantastic sculptor, one of the Lindbergh's small bronze rocket ship
sculpture was flown aboard SpaceShipOne. The piece will be sold to
benefit the Lindbergh Foundation (http://www.lindberghfoundation.org).
Support Private Space Travel: Become an X PRIZE Member!
PRIZE Foundation is dedicated to making it possible for YOU to fly into space.
We have already inspired a wave of private spaceships through the generous
support of the people who want to go. However, our work is not finished. While
private spaceships are now flying, we must continue our efforts to open space
to the public. Become a member of the X PRIZE Foundation with your gift of $20
or more and watch your name soar into space! You will also receive our new
beautiful and personalized electronic membership certificate, suitable for
The X PRIZE Foundation wishes to thank our Title Sponsor the ANSARI FAMILY and
our Presenting Sponsor CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES. You can view Champ Car's site at
The mission of the non-profit X PRIZE Foundation is to create a future in
which the general public will personally participate in space travel and its
benefits. But all of this requires an investment. Be a part of history. Give to
the X PRIZE.
HERE to Become a General Member for the low cost of $20
to Become a Senior Associate.
HERE to help the X PRIZE via a secure donation to PayPal!
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis
Mr. Gregg E. Maryniak
Mr. David Treinis
Executive Vice President for Team Relations
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