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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old September 29th, 2004, 09:36 AM   #1
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Anyone heard about this?

http://www.xprize.org/

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Old September 29th, 2004, 10:10 AM   #2
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Yeah, I've heard of it. The first team to launch a space ship carrying 400 lb. of weight into the startosphere twice - that is, the first team to successfully build and launch a commercial space craft - wins $10 million dollars.

The contest has been going on for two years now, with the deadline coming up (January 1). I've checked in on it from time to time, but until now, as the deadline approaches, nothing has happened with it.

Funny thing is, the team that is closest to winning has already spent $20-30 million dollars. Course, it's more about prestige at this point. And imagine the liscense rights to the design could be worth billions, if some venture capitalist comes up with a good way to put the average joe into space (I discount Virgin Galactica right away. Like most of Branson's brilliant ideas, it's a rip-off to consumers).
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Old September 29th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #3
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They launched today. Thanks to Rob Lohman for pointing it out to me!

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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #4
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Another multi-millionaire has already announced that he will award $50 million to the first privately build orbiting spacecraft, which is quite a bit more than the $10 million SpaceShipOne is going for. Of course, that ship will probably cost quite a bit more too. Although, Joshua makes a good point that, for now, its more about prestige than money. The winner will aquire a lot of respect, which will soon lead to money.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 02:33 PM   #5
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I saw the launch on the webcast today. Very cool indeed. Thought he was in trouble when the craft began to spin. I almost got ill just watching.

I own an experimental plane, and have been aware of Rutan's huge contributions to our industry for some time. But, this is seriously cool! Sorry, that was the
4-year-old-"I-wanna-be-an-astronaut" coming out in me. I guess there's time though. The pilot was 63- and I have at least another 20 years to go before that.

Yehaaw.

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Old September 29th, 2004, 03:03 PM   #6
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If you did not know, this was the second time the craft made it to space. The first time, they had some 'issues' and did not do the second flight. The improved craft has 20% more thrust. I suspect that they could have gone for more altitude if they did not pick up that bit of uncontrolled flight.

I liked the Art Scholl moment at 15,000 feet. I looked over to see the space craft doing a victory roll.
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Old September 30th, 2004, 03:41 AM   #7
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So all went well then? I missed the launch (grrr) on the webcast
and they must now repeat the feat in 2 weeks to get the money,
right?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 10:31 AM   #8
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Yep. The plan is to launch Monday morning, which is a pretty fast turn around if you ask me. If that goes well, then SpaceShipOne will win the $10 million.
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Old September 30th, 2004, 10:49 AM   #9
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The video from the cockpit during the roll at the top of the trajectory was incredible.

And, like Jeff (in my best 4 yr old whine) I wanna go! My wife looked at me last night when they said the projected price per seat was 200,000+, smiled, and told me a kidney wasn't going to be enough ;)

It does give hope to those of us who have wanted to go into space all our lives though.

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Old September 30th, 2004, 11:07 AM   #10
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My condo cost less than that and my next film will cost less than that. For my ride into space, I'll hit that new Mission: Space over at Epcot Center at Disney Orlando! <g>

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Old September 30th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #11
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Yeah, even looking around at the room full of equipment I've got here I can't quite see spending that kind of money for a ride.

It does make me want to dig out my Heinlein books and reminesce. Who'd a thunk that the SF stories that fired up my youthful imagination would be so tantalizingly close to the reality of my "adult" life. I can't wait for the next flight on Monday!
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Old October 4th, 2004, 08:53 AM   #12
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Part II today 10/4

Bump, running again today.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 11:00 AM   #13
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Looks like the prize has finally been won - by the design funded by ex-Microsoft billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen.

This is very exciting news for the privatization of the space industry. It's the only way we're going to ever get anywhere in the space program. If we leave it all up to Nasa and thus Congressional approval, we'll perhaps make it back to the moon in 2450 AD.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #14
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Watched the webcast live again today. Damn, do we live in a great country, at an exciting time. My little Fly Baby has only been up to 4500 feet. 368 thousand is rare air indeed.
Im going to buy the Estes rocket and say its for my kid.

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Old October 4th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #15
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what's the difference between this and john carmack's pet project?
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