News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

The New Space Race is On



Pack a pilot and enough weight and volume to equal two passengers into a privately-funded spacecraft, launch and reach a height of 100 kilometers, return safely and do it again in two weeks with the same ship – win US$10,000,000.

The Ansari XPrize organization announced on Tuesday that on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 Burt Rutan, Paul Allen and their American Mojave Aerospace Ventures, LLC Team will make their attempt at the prize. The launches are open to the public, with parking passes available through the XPrize website.

On August 5, 2004 the competing Canadian da Vinci Project Team will publicly unveil their Wild Fire spacecraft. The da Vinci Project Team also plans to make an attempt for the prize sometime this fall. While Burt Rutan’s team uses an airplane to take the spacecraft to high altitudes before separation and launch, the da Vinci Project Team plans to use an unmanned helium balloon to take their spacecraft up.

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