In 1996, people knew that spaceflight was expensive, and that human spaceflight especially could only be undertaken by massive efforts by the world's leading superpowers. In fact, it was beyond obvious--it was tautological, universally acknowledged. But when the X PRIZE was announced in 1996, this small idea worked its way into some people's heads:
Whatever can be done (better) will be done (better).
... Each of them absorbed this idea and decided that they could play a role in making the law's prediction prove true. The next eight years were, in essence, a battle between these creative minds, fueled by this simple law, and tireless Murphy.
He also shows how Murphy has fought back in the Lunar Lander Challenge and Space Elevator Games.
Murphy will win some battles, probably more than his fair share ... But, when all is said and done, some team will catch enough good luck and avoid enough bad luck
to beat Murphy and win the prize.