Wednesday, October 24, 2007

X PRIZE Cup posting starts

Check RLV News for a number of sources that can be expect to have good X PRIZE Cup and Lunar Lander Challenge coverage. Also check this overview from the X PRIZE Foundation.

Update: The posting is now in full swing. Unfortunately for me, as with the Space Elevator Games I won't be doing any on-the-spot posts. Alas, I'm working this week, and it's debatable whether I'll even have access to the computer this weekend. I'll see what I can do from afar while I can, though.

As with the main Space Elevator Games posters, RLV News is posting faster than I can keep up. Here's today's batch; check the link in the previous sentence to get the latest.

ISPS Introductory Comments - Peter Diamandis gives an introductory talk. This post also includes links to a a detailed overview of the X PRIZE Cup from that includes all sorts of details on what you'll see there, and other important information like maps and advise to wear sunscreen. The Las Cruces Sun also has a Spaceport section that's probably a good place to check on New Mexico Spaceport news, and that has an article on spaceport discussions at the ISPS.

ISPS Plenary Session - Valin Thorn reviews NASA's COTS program, Elon Musk covers "Why to invest in space", astronaut John Herrington discusses Rocketplane, and Alex Tai presents Virgin Galactic.

ISPS Track 1: Session 1 - progress in Vehicle Systems

ISPS Track 1: Session 2 - Synergy Between Government and Personal Spaceflight

ISPS Track 2: Session 1 - Developing Space Tourism - Since this is the Space Prizes blog I should mention that the panelists included Ansari X PRIZE sponsor Anousheh Ansari.

ISPS Track2: Session 2 - Interviews with Space Tourists by The Space Show host Dr. David Livingston - One question was To the future tourists, would you help fund grants for students to go? Anousheh Ansari's answer was that Her philanthropy [is] aimed at more longer term benefits than a single spaceflight.

I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing she has in mind, but here's an example of her fundraising efforts. The University of North Texas recently held a fundraiser at the Frontiers of Flight museum. The fundraiser was called Discover the Power of Ideas 2007: Privatization of Space. Proceeds of the event, with a presentation by Ansari, went to fund scholarships for the school. Ansari is also expected at the X PRIZE Cup, World Space Expo, and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space SpaceVision 2007 conference.

ISPS Session 3: Track 1 - Marketing the "New Space" Business

In addition to the big article mentioned above, Leonard David has a couple of shorter LiveScience blog posts on the New Mexico events:

X PRIZE Cup Lead Sponsor EX'd Out - Wirefly is reducing its sponsorship of the X PRIZE Cup. It's not clear how much the reduction is, whether or not the X PRIZE Cup title is changed, and when this happened (right before the Cup, or a while ago?). Didn't enough people by phone plans? Folks, you've got to make the sponsors happy! Anyway, Wirefly has an X PRIZE Cup blog, and it still says "Wirefly X PRIZE Cup", but the last update was September 20.

Lunar Lander Team Challenge: Armadillo to Fly Solo - Oh, well, I was hoping there would be a multi-competitor competition this year, but this challenge is difficult. That's why the winners get so much money, and why the challenge needed a prize in the first place. This also means that the other teams should be looking ahead to next year.

Transterrestrial Musings posts on the single competitor, too.

Cosmic Log has a thorough post on the recent Space Elevator Games and the upcoming Lunar Lander Challenge. It also presents a backdrop of other prizes like the DARPA Urban Challenge and the other Centennial Challenges.

Don't forget that NASA is funding the Lunar Lander Challenge prize money. They should be congratulated for sponsoring this easy-on-the-taxpayer and good-to-commercial-space competition.

The Google Earth Blogger is flying to the competition. There won't be any air photos of the X PRIZE Cup this time, though (it being at an Air Force Base and all). The post includes some good Google Earth links related to the X PRIZE Cup, as well as other New Mexico links of interest.

Personal Spaceflight posts on arriving for the ISPS and X PRIZE Cup and Rocketplane's uncertain future that is sure to be discussed at the ISPS.