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City loses out in X Prize competition

Posted by: Sigurd - Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:27 pm
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City loses out in X Prize competition 
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Post City loses out in X Prize competition   Posted on: Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:27 pm
1/16/04 Lompoc's visions of reaching for the cosmos fizzled Thursday when the city's attempt to host a spaceflight competition failed.

The St. Louis-based X Prize rejected the city's bid to become a hub to launch suborbital spacecraft in a competition that has a $10 million prize. The ships would have been launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

"Lompoc was a viable candidate because of the rich history and mission at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the diverse space-related activities and artifacts in the area, and the strong infrastructure and enthusiasm of the Central Coast," Lompoc Economic Development Coordinator Kathleen Griffith said in a press release. Griffith put together Lompoc's proposal.

Other contenders included the Florida Space Authority, the New Mexico Office For Space Commercialization, and the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority.

Lompoc officials said they were not told why the city was eliminated. The two semifinalists will be announced next week.
"Obviously it's disappointing, but we knew it was very competitive and worth a shot," Mayor Dick DeWees said.

According to the X Prize's Web site, the competition is viewed as a way to jump-start the space tourism industry by attracting entrepreneurs and rocket experts. The prize will be awarded to the first team that privately finances, builds and launches a spaceship that can carry three people at least 62.5 miles high; returns the ship safely to earth; and launch the same ship within two weeks. To date 27 teams have signed up to vie for the X Prize.

X Prize officials declined to comment for this story.

"I wasn't surprised we weren't chosen; the competition was really stiff for this," said City Council Member Janice Keller. "I thought it was very realistic. I don't think it was a pie in the sky by any means."

The city anticipated that the two-week annual event would have been an economic boom to the area because it could have pumped millions of dollars into the economy and drawn thousands of tourists to the Central Coast.

"I think it would have given us quite a bit of recognition because I know the people promoting this are real media hounds," Keller said.

http://www.lompocrecord.com/articles/20 ... news16.txt

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:34 am
One has to wonder if despite its history in this industry Lompoc was hampered by the joy of permiting in California. :shrug:

It seems like this year is going to be very exciting for the x-prize. The culmanation of many plans are near. I am rooting for New Mexico but I'm not sure if that is realistic. I'll be happy with anything on my side of the Mississippi. The South can have NASCAR I hope the West gets the X-Cup.


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