Sorry for the interruption, but I didn’t want you to miss this!

The Wirefly X-prize cup is scheduled for October 20th and 21st–starting tomorrow, in other words.

See…. http://www.xprizecup.com/

There are three important competitions involved:

–The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (a NASA-supported prize effort to demonstrate the ability of private companies to develop next-generation lunar landers), –

–TheVertical Rocket Challenge (another lunar-landing-technology-focused competition),

—And the The Spaceward Foundation’s Space Elevator Games (a test of over 20 teams to use light to power a vehicle along a tether, this year up about 50 meters, but eventually hundreds and thousands of miles).

There are also numerous other exhibits to see and space celebs to meet, including recent astronaut, Anousheh Ansari.

It would be great to see it in person. But if you can’t be there in New Mexico tomorrow, you can still see the X-prize Cup during the next two days via live worldwide webcast at:

http://www.xprizecup.com/live.php?sub=live_overview

Two years ago I saw SpaceShipOne win the X-prize via www.xprize.org.

If this webcast is anything like that one from 2 years ago, it should be really exciting!

 From the website:

Welcome to the
Wirefly X PRIZE Cup 2006

Welcome to the official website for the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup, Earth’s great space exposition. This year’s Cup features three spectacular competitions with over $2.5 million in prize purses, multiple high-powered sounding rocket launches, the unveiling of the Rocket Racing League’s development X-Racer, multiple static engine test firings live on the field, fly-overs by the T-38 astronaut trainer, and a variety of other rocket surprises in the air and on the ground. Link

$2.5 Million in Prize Competitions

Building on the legendary prize methodology that the Ansari X PRIZE used to catalyze SpaceShipOne into history, this year’s Cup see’s the launch of three important competitions. The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge (a NASA-supported prize effort to demonstrate the ability of private companies to develop next-generation lunar landers), the Vertical Rocket Challenge (another lunar-landing-technology-focused competition), and the The Spaceward Foundation’s Space Elevator Games (a test of over 20 teams to use light to power a vehicle along a tether, this year up about 50 meters, but eventually hundreds and thousands of miles). Imagine pressing an elevator button that says, “Moon!” Link

5,000 Students Wanted for Field Trip to Space

On Friday, October 20th, X PRIZE Cup will play host to thousands of local students who will come to the event as part of a mass field trip. Special teaching guides will be available in September to teachers in the area who want to build a curriculum about space and the technology being tested at the Cup in the weeks leading up to the event, culminating in the students seeing what they’ve learned live and up close. Link

Rocketman

Ever met a real-life Rocketman? Well now’s your chance! Rocketman Dan Schlund, the only person in the world currently using the “Rocketbelt”, will take to the skies no less than three times as part of the X PRIZE Cup. He will fly overhead on Friday using his “rocket belt”, a powerful device originally designed by the military to propel humans into the clouds at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. Link

NMSU students assist in launch pad design.

Students from New Mexico State University are recreating the surface of the Moon as part of the X Prize Cup’s Lunar Lander Challenge.

In the Lunar Lander Challenge, Vertical rockets will take off and land on special landing pads designed to look just like the craggy surface of the Moon. Those landing pads are being made from concrete formulated by Surveying/Civil Engineering Technology majors at NMSU. Link

Anousheh Ansari 1st Female Space Tourist

Want to meet the world’s latest space pioneer? Anousheh Ansari, who will be at the X Prize Cup in Las Cruces in October, became the world’s first female space explorer when she lifted off in a Russian Soyuz TMA-9 at 12:09 ET on September 18. Link

Tim Pickens’ “Rocket Truck” to be on display.

Tim Pickens’ dream has always been to “feel the g’s” of a rocket motor at his back. While he’s waiting for his ride to space, he’s busy rocket-powering anything he can get his hands on, including his 2003 Chevy SS. The asphalt and nitrous-oxide powered hybrid rocket engine produces 2750 lbs of thrust, enough to give the driver and co-pilot a 3/4 g kick. Link

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