SPACE: Prize offered for first private spacecraft

Technotranscendence (
Wed, 5 Aug 1998 06:14:26 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 13:04:11 EDT
To: philosophy of objectivism <> Subject: Prize offered for first private spacecraft


The XPRIZEŽ is a $10,000,000 prize to jump-start the space tourism industry through competition between the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world. Following in the footsteps of over 100 aviation prizes offered between 1905 and 1935 which created today's multibillion dollar air transport industry, the XPRIZE will be awarded to the team which designs the first private spaceship which successfully launches three humans to a sub-orbital altitude of 100 km on two consecutive flights within two weeks. All
teams must be privately financed.


As of April 30, 1998 the international competition is open to all teams which abide by the XIPRIZE rules. 14 teams are currently registerd.


St.Louis business leaders have provided over $1.50 million in funding to support the Foundation's work in organizing the competition. With this support in place, the Foundation is now working to raise the full $10 million purse.

St.Louis Connection:

The XPRIZE is headquartered in St.Louis because of the connection with Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St.Louis whose historic 1927 flight changed the course of aviation history. St.Louis is working with the XPRIZE Foundation to promote the city as a visionary, high-tech community.

New Spirit of St.Louis Organization

The New Spirit of St.Louis Organization is composed of business leaders who have each contributed to the XPRIZE Foundation to help to create the competition. Historically, the original "Spirit of St.Louis" organization consisted
of nine St.Louisans who jointly contributed $25,000 in 1927 to support Charles Lindbergh's attempt to win the Orteig Prize.


The XPRIZE has been endorsed by leading space and aviation organizations including: The Association of Space Explorers, the US Space Foundation, the National Space Society, Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the Aeroclub de France, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Explorers Club.

Historical Analog:

By 1929, governments, individuals, newspapers and major corporations had offered more than 50 major aeronautical prizes. Among them was the Orteig Prize, a $25,000 cash prize sponsored by a wealthy hotel owner, Raymond Orteig, for the first person or persons to fly non-stop between New York and Paris. The Orteig Prize stimulated not one, but nine separate attempts to cross
the Atlantic. To initiate the flights, competitors raised and spent some $400,000, or 16 times the amount of the prize. As a result of these early aviation prizes, the world now enjoys a $250 billion aviation industry.


Dave Saum