Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Florida RLV Prize Bills

Spaceports has been working on the V Prize in Virginia, but recently posted on another space access prize proposal in a different space state.

Two bills in Florida attempt to create a reusable launch vehicle prize in the amount of $40M ($20M from the state, $20M from private sources). It's not clear to me what the specific RLV goal, if any would be (eg: suborbital or orbital, manned or unmanned, etc), or whether or not the vehicle would need to launch from Florida, teams would need to be from Florida, or any other such restrictions. I assume that Florida taxpayers would expect local benefits, of course - I would.

Here's an excerpt from one of the bills:

Section 4. Reusable Space Vehicle Industry Prize Program.--

(1) The Legislature finds that awarding a prize for achieving a specific goal stimulates entrepreneurial investment in the state, which ultimately produces a significant monetary return on the prize purse as well as considerable social benefit.
(2) There is created within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development of the Executive Office of the Governor a Reusable Space Vehicle Industry Prize Program.
(3) The program shall award a one-time cash prize in the amount of $40 million, including $20 million in state funds and $20 million in funds provided by private sponsors, to the firm or individual in the private sector providing the most significant advancements within the reusable space vehicle industry during the period beginning January 1, 2009, and ending January 1, 2014.
(4) The Lieutenant Governor of Florida shall serve as chair of the program and appoint a committee for the purpose of establishing or adopting an application form, criteria on which
the decision to award the prize will be based, and any other rules or guidelines related to the entry, judging, administration, or results of the prize program.


(5) The structure and operation of the program shall, to the extent practicable, mirror the Ansari X Prize program as awarded by the X PRIZE FOUNDATION on November 6, 2004.