X Prize Advances

Spaceship glides to a test landing
Burt Rutan
is the modern day Kelly Johnson, an aerospace designer way, way ahead of his time.

He’s the main brain pushing Scaled Composites, which is trying to win the X Prize, 10 Million Dollars to:

…jumpstart the space tourism industry through competition between the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world. The $10 Million cash prize will be awarded to the first team that:
Privately finances, builds & launches a spaceship, able to carry three people to 100 kilometers (62.5 miles)
Returns safely to Earth
Repeats the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks.

This is terrific news. My prediction: SC wins, within the next 2 years. And nobody else is even close to a second launch (it wouldn’t surprise me to see a one-off launch, but the repeat is the truly enormous hurdle, and they’ll win going away).

Then what? Will there be a market for it? I ask your opinion.


  1. I’d go in a heartbeat.
    Not that I’d have the funds. :(

  2. Burt Rutan was one of the pilots of the Voyageur’s round the world glider flight. My grandfather was a big supporter and donator and has met both pilots personally. I attended the OshKosh airshow about 20 years ago and met them as well in addition to getting to see their magnificent glider!

  3. Well, actually, is was Dick Rutan (www.dickrutan.com), Burt’s awesome flying brother, who did the around the world flight, with Jeana Yeager. I’d like to meet him, and I’m jealous of your getting to go to Oshkosh (I should go, but I’m afraid of what the plane would cost me eventually).

  4. John Anderson says:

    “Will there be a market for it?”

    You know there will. Not only people like ,yself who are fascinated by it, or the bungee-jumping crazies (in my opinion, amyway), but just plain people.

    I wonder when the first wedding will be held?