Tuesday, September 4, 2007
The XPrize folks are going to make an announcement next week that is going to make the suborbital flights made by SpaceShip One look like child's play. The goal will the lofty (literally), the risks will be high and the reward will be, well, it will be more than you can imagine. Ok, perhaps not, but that worked for Luke when he had to convince Han to help him save the princess from the clutches of Darth Vader. ;-)
They'll be announcing the new prize at the upcoming Wired NEXTFest on Sept 13 and have released a teaser video as well.
Going to orbit seems to be the next obvious prize beyond the last suborbital X Prize contest and this fits right into Burt Rutan's "Tier 2" program. (Tier 1 was SpaceShip One, Tier 2 is orbital and Tier 3 is beyond orbit) Burt was quick to comment a few years ago that, "we're heading for orbit sooner than you think."
Kick the tires and light the fires!
UPDATE - Some of the XPrize document names reference "lunar" ... so, this prize might go past Tier 2. Interesting!