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Space The Almighty Buck Science

X Prize Competition Gets New Sponsor, Amended Name 203

An anonymous reader writes "The X Prize Foundation today announced that entrepreneurs Anousheh Ansari and Amir Ansari have made a multi-million dollar contribution to the X Prize Foundation. As a result, the X Prize Competition is being renamed to the Ansari X Prize Competition." However, the X Prize rules stay the same: "The ANSARI X PRIZE will award $10 million to the first private organization to build and fly a ship that can carry three passengers 100 km (62 miles) into space, return safely to Earth and repeat the launch with the same ship within two weeks. Both flights must be completed by January 1st, 2005."
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X Prize Competition Gets New Sponsor, Amended Name

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  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:20PM (#9069591)
    What a great way to buy one's name into the pages of history.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:22PM (#9069606)
    Oh (replying to myself), maybe next time i should RTFA.
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:24PM (#9069617) Homepage Journal

    I'll just keep calling it "the X prize" until there is more than one.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:25PM (#9069629)
    I hope they extend the date and I also hope the prize money goes up. I think the major entrants have all spent more than $10,000.000 as it is. Still, I don't think they are doing it primarily for the money anyway.

    Most are doing it for the money, but just not soley the X-Prize money. Afterall, if a team ends up finishing late or beaten by another team finishing before them... they'll still have a working reusable orbital spacecraft. That's gotta be useful for something.
  • by thoolie ( 442789 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:28PM (#9069649)
    Just out of morbid curiosity, are there any /.ers here who are involved with the X-Prize in any way? If so, do any of these guys have any ideas on what would be next for the X-Prize?

    Could we see a X-Prize space statio? X-Prize moon base? X-prize funded by NASA/ESA/Russia??

    Just look at what DARPA is doing with the Grand Challenge...putting a little money (relative to their budget) twords competitive, civilian projects.

  • Insensitive clods! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:31PM (#9069669)
    "to carry a minimum of 3 adults of height 188 cm (6 feet 2 inches)"

    Dwarfs and midgets have been barred from the Final Frontier. I guess it is back to the mines to look for precious precious mithril.... Oh, and Mini-Me, stop humping the laser!

  • by Attaturk ( 695988 ) * on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @09:39PM (#9069731) Homepage
    Call my cynical, but Iranians wanting in on rockets capable of doubling as ICBMs worry me.

    I won't call you cynical. But I will call you an ignorant, paranoid, xenophobic and war-mongering fool - no offense. ;-)

    Not everyone in the middle east would like to 'nuke' America - not yet anyway. Give it time, and consistency of US foreign policy and maybe... but even then you'd have to count on finding some fanatical middle eastern people with millions of dollars to spend on something insanely overt, huge risk and incredibly open to public and global scrutiny. And anyway, everyone knows the best delivery system for a nuclear warhead these days is a suitcase.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @10:33PM (#9070026) Homepage
    Famous for nothing? Hardly -- the prize itself has been a big incentive to the various candidate groups, and the money has to come from somewhere.

    That was the idea behind the prize in the first place, but no big donor stepped forward early -- hence the "X" prize because there was no name, yet, to attach to it. The intention was always to name it after whoever stepped up with the prize money.

    Read your aviation (and other technology) history, you'll see lots of progress due to (named) prizes offered by folks with no skills but how to make (or inherit) money.

    I just can't wait for the new Maxwell House Instant Shuttle from NASA.

    Me neither, although preferably not from NASA. And I think FedEx or American Airlines might be more likely logos.
  • by thoolie ( 442789 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @10:34PM (#9070030)
    The real question is, "How much could the Russians do it for"?

    Really! After all, the engineering has been done and the technology now is SOOOOOOOOOO much cheaper than back then. We also have better access to engineers and facilities than we did back then.

  • by LordK3nn3th ( 715352 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @10:40PM (#9070071)
    And not believing in bigfoot is a position based on faith, I'm sure. :/

    (Most) Atheists don't maintain there can't be a god. They maintain that, due to the nature of the claim and lacking of evidence, one most likely does not exist.
  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rhuntley12 ( 621658 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @11:37PM (#9070384)
    More power to him. The people who fund projects are just as important as the people who do the projects IMO. Without the funding you get nowhere. My hats off to this guy.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lindsayt ( 210755 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:14AM (#9070556)
    As an historian, I would like to point out that Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain knew nothing of navigation, and in fact weren't even particularly interested in sailing per se, and yet they are inseparably linked with the final European discovery of the New World in 1492.

    Why, you ask? Because they bankrolled it and told everybody so. Of course they were shooting for a valuable spice trade and missed, but the point is that Columbus, an Italian with few resources, was not bankrolled out of altruism or interest in discovery, navigation or research, but out of a desire by Spanish royals to be rich and to stand out among European royalty as the greatest.

    Altruism has its place, but greed, egos and personal desire for eternal fame are what pay the bills. There's nothing new about that.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe