X Prize Competition

The location and date for the next X PRIZE award will be announced by The X PRIZE Foundation in the coming months.

The X PRIZE Foundation sponsors numerous competitions, with prize winnings that total in the millions of dollars. The foundation’s goal is to encourage the development of breakthrough technologies in many areas, including the realm of aerospace travel and flight. Ultimately, the X PRIZE Foundation hopes to make space travel as available and affordable as modern commercial airplane flights.

On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation awarded the Ansari X PRIZE of $10 million to the Mojave Aerospace Ventures team. They were the first to launch the same piloted spacecraft at an altitude of 328,000′ twice within two weeks.

The X PRIZE Foundation is currently hosting NASA’s Vertical Rocket Challenge and Lunar Landing Challenge. The intent of these challenges is to foster the development of technology to be used for future lunar landing modules. Among the requirements for the Vertical Rocket Challenge are that a rocket must reach a height of 50 meters for a horizontal distance of 100 meters while remaining in flight for 90 seconds. It then has to land on a smooth surface, refuel, and return to its original location. The Lunar Landing Challenge requires all that but with a minimum flight time of 180 seconds and a rocky surface landing location.

Though originally announced in time for the 2006 Wirefly X PRIZE Cup, the two prizes remain unclaimed because no team has yet qualified for a win. Total prize money for the Vertical Rocket Challenge is $550,000, and total prize money for the Lunar Landing Challenge is $1,500,000.

The X PRIZE Foundation plans to award additional prizes in the realms of space, energy, education, genomics, nanotechnology, and other areas. Return to Airplanes.com for updates on the exciting competitions that The X PRIZE Foundation offers in the world of space and aviation.

You can reach the X PRIZE Foundation by telephone at their offices in Los Angeles, California at 323-957-0729. Teams interested in competing for an X PRIZE should e-mail William Pomerantz at will@xprize.org. For other questions or information, e-mail Ian Murphy at ian@xprize.org. Their Web site is http://www.xprize.org/.