America's Space Prize As A Followup To The X-Prize

from the next-up dept

There will be no sitting still in the private space flight business. Just as Burt Rutan received his $10 million check for winning the X Prize, another private space prize has been announced. This one, called America’s Space Prize picks up where the X Prize left off. This one offers $50 million, but requires the winner to fly five crew members into space twice in sixty days, sometimes before the beginning of 2010. And, if that seems a little too easy after the X Prize, there’s one more factor: the ship has to go much higher. In fact, it has to reach 400 km and then orbit twice around the Earth. In other words, this won’t just be an up and down affair. The sponsoring company, Bigelow Aerospace is doing this for their own good. They want to have commercial space crafts that can jumpstart their own commercial space operations, which is why there’s also a condition that any craft entering the competition has to be dockable with their own “inflatable space habitat.” The company also has made it clear they have a lot more to spend on commercial space flights afterwards, noting that if the second or third place contestant has a better design, but just doesn’t win the prize first, there may still be plenty of business for them.

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Comments on “America's Space Prize As A Followup To The X-Prize”

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calin (user link) says:

xPrize should still stand up

Well my fear is that now, after its been taken, nobody will care about it anymore. I mean the general public awareness is high until they are satisfied that some fellow american took it, and that it’s possible. They people forget. I mean honestly, would anybody actually fly into that bomb? after the first flight feedback i doubt it. the spaceship looks like one big bullet. only volunteers will fly init for the next years, until big companies catch this up.
my point: xprize should smoothly move into the industry; from amateurs to professionals

Matt Bentley (user link) says:

Re: Re: xPrize should still stand up

There is a company offering orbital space rides for only $50 each. The catch is that it’s a sort of raffle. For $50, you will have a chance at an orbital ride, and the odds will depend on how many people buy a Space Ticket. This snatches the monopoly on spaceflight away from the millioinaires and gives everyone a fair shot at space. Details at

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