RE: [bafuture] First the 'X Prize', now 'America's Space Prize'
- The X prize worked. For all intents and purposes, it was a success. Think
about all the free advertising that was attracted to Rutan, Allen, and
It is going to be an order of magnitude difficult to scale Rutan's Space
Ship One into an orbital vehicle. You need to go 8km/s to get into orbit,
and right now space ship one can go 1km/s (and you don't just strap on 7
more of the boosters!).
I really like the incentive that X prize developed for the private sector.
And we shouldn't underestimate the publicity this has developed. Therefore,
the $50m America's Space Prize might be enough to attract for-profit
developers (assuming that they can be as successful as X Prize was in
attracting publicity). That being said, I think it is going to be an
incremental progression for private ventures into space.
America's Space Price jumped the gun, and they did it without Peter
Diamandis (founder of X prize). I think his way forward is to keep up the
momentum by doing an annual X Cup, and keep charting the course with
incremental prizes along the way.
From: Chris Phoenix [mailto:cphoenix@...]
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 12:51 AM
Subject: Re: [bafuture] First the 'X Prize', now 'America's Space Prize'
IMHO, $50 million isn't enough, and the terms aren't right for a prize.
He's not asking for a technology/competency demo: he's asking for a
fully useful spacecraft, capable of docking with his space station and
staying in orbit for six months. And it's a project that could save him
hundreds of millions. I think his terms will turn off hobbyists, and I
suspect the amount isn't enough to attract for-profit developers for a
project of this magnitude.
Kennita Watson wrote:
> Ambitious! Progress towards this one could be fun to watch!'<http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041108/full/041108-5.html>
> - Kennita
> Published online: 09 November 2004; | doi:10.1038/news041108-5
> Rules outlined for $50-million space prize
> Mark Peplow
> Winner could be a taxi service for orbiting hotel.
> It makes the X prize look easy. The winning craft in the latest
> competition for civilian space flight will need to have spectacular
> technology rivalling that of NASA, according to rules set out on 8
> 'America's Space Prize', worth $50 million, is being offered by Bigelow
> Aerospace of Las Vegas, Nevada, a company established in 1999 by hotel
> magnate Robert Bigelow to build an orbiting inflatable space hotel.
> Bigelow also runs the hotel chain, Budget Suites of America.
> The prize will be awarded to a craft that can take a crew of at least
> five people to an altitude of 400 kilometres, and complete two orbits
> of Earth. This feat will have to be repeated within 60 days. The craft
> must be able to dock with Bigelow's space hotel (which he hopes to
> launch in 2008), and be capable of staying docked in orbit for six
> The deadline for these flights is 10 January 2010, allowing very little
> time for aerospace developers to prepare their entries.
> Transport alternatives
> Bigelow had hoped to buy Russian Soyuz craft to service his orbiting
> hotel. But since the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia on 1 February
> last year, NASA has relied on Soyuz to deliver supplies to the
> International Space Station.
> Bigelow believes that after the space-shuttle fleet is retired, NASA
> will still need to use the Russian ships as space workhorses. This has
> upped the going price for a Soyuz, and forced Bigelow Aerospace to look
> for alternative transport systems, he told the space news website
> Bigelow Aerospace is also offering hefty contracts for any craft that
> can begin bringing customers to the space hotel.
> Space rules
> The rules of the competition do not allow government funding for the
> projects, and teams from outside the United States are excluded from
> entering. This may be a response to fears that regulations designed to
> stop the export of military hardware from the United States could
> hamper progress in commercializing civilian space flight by restricting
> The rules of the prize also state that no more than 20% of the craft's
> hardware must be expendable. Many space shots still rely on huge rocket
> boosters that are lost during launch, and coming up with reliable
> alternatives will be a significant hurdle for competitors.
> The Ansari X Prize stimulated a huge investment in civilian space
> flight, and was won on 4 October when SpaceShipOne and its pilot
> reached an altitude of 100 kilometres for the second time in two weeks.
> The $10-million prize money was handed over to Burt Rutan, who led the
> Scaled Composites engineering team responsible for the craft, at a
> ceremony in St Louis, Illinois, on 6 November.
> Since then, the Ansari Foundation has announced that an annual X Prize
> Cup will be awarded for feats of sub-orbital space flight.
> Yahoo! Groups Links
Chris Phoenix cphoenix@...
Director of Research
Center for Responsible Nanotechnology http://CRNano.org
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