Saturday, October 07, 2006

Along with the X Prize Cup

Along with the X Prize Cup, where the Lunar Lander Challenge and Space Elevator competitions are going to be held along with many other space-related events, are a couple of space conferences. One is the International Symposium for Personal Spaceflight (ISPS) which will be held right before the X Prize Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Check out the agenda, which includes some people and organizations related to prizes (prize spoinsors, former competitors, and companies no doubt inspired by the X Prize). In addition, as noted by Spaceports, there is the Wirefly X Prize Cup Executive Summit, a more "exclusive" event that, among other things, addresses the question "Can prizes help drive these breakthroughs?" in technologies needed to improve spaceflight. With NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, Peter Diamandis, Al Gore, Anousheh Ansari, and many others present, it will be interesting to see if anyone comes bearing gifts in the form of new, well thought-out space prizes. It would be the perfect time and place for such an announcement in terms of a friendly audience and available news media. In Dr. Griffin's case, it would just be bad form NOT to have some kind of announcement in that NASA-skeptical crowd.