Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Jul 9, 2005 5:00 pm
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Expanded schedule and additional Public Activities announced during Major planning session held in Las Cruces for October events

Las Cruces, NM (July 8, 2005) – Planning for October’s Countdown to the X PRIZE CUP gains momentum as participating space companies arrive in Las Cruces, New Mexico this weekend to survey sites, determine logistical requirements, coordinate activities with local host organizations, and discuss licensing, insurance and safety issues.

“The annual X PRIZE CUP will be an event of global importance, bringing visitors and visibility for New Mexico from around the world and beyond,” said Rick Homans, Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. “We have put together a great team and we are very excited that the region as a whole has come together to create tremendous momentum behind this project.”

“We are here to jumpstart the personal spaceflight industry,” said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, “and these are the space entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of that new industry. These are the individuals that will go down in the history books as the Wright Brothers or Lindbergh of the 21st Century and New Mexico is making that possible.”

In addition, Dr. Diamandis and Mark Santiago, Director of the New Mexico Museum for Space History, announced that an additional public event has been added to the schedule for the Countdown to the X PRIZE CUP. On Saturday, October 8, 2005, the Space Museum in Alamagordo and the X PRIZE Foundation will host “X PRIZE DAY” – a fun-filled, day of activities for the entire family with a theme of Personal Spaceflight.

“We are pleased to expand our participation with the X PRIZE Foundation,” said Santiago. “On Friday, October 7, we will host more than 1000 students from surrounding schools for activities in rocketry, robotic, planetary and living sciences. On Saturday, October 8, we will open this experience to the public for all advocates of space – old and young.”

This weekend’s activities includes a comprehensive workshop featuring presentations by X PRIZE Foundation event organizers and each participating space company, which will help outline each companies distinct test launch and flight needs. Additionally, a portion of the meetings will be devoted to specific discussions related to the development needs of the Southwest Regional Spaceport.

While in Las Cruces, the visiting space entrepreneurs will survey the Las Cruces International Airport, where this year’s event will be held, meet with officials from the Physical Science Lab of New Mexico State University and attend a barbeque hosted by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.

Attending this weekend’s workshop are: Armadillo Aerospace, Mesquite TX; XCOR, Mojave CA; Starchaser Industries, Cheshire, UK and Las Cruces, NM; Golden Palace.com, Space Program Powered by The da Vinci Project, Toronto, Canada; TGV Rockets, Norman, OK; Space Adventures, San Diego State University and Tripoli Rocketry Association. Other vendors and participants who are not able attend will be briefed on the results of the workshop next week.

The Countdown to the X PRIZE CUP, scheduled for October 6-9, 2005 in Southern New Mexico will include test flights and demonstrations by companies that are at the forefront of the Personal Spaceflight Industry. Events will include an exhibition of spacecraft and aircraft, the largest-ever space education day, and space-related community events statewide.

About the X PRIZE CUP

The X PRIZE CUP is an alliance between the state of New Mexico and the X PRIZE Foundation. New Mexico won the right to host the X PRIZE CUP in a national competition conducted by the X PRIZE Foundation in 2004, winning over Florida, California and Oklahoma.

Last year, the state allocated $9 million to develop the infrastructure, launch and landing facilities necessary to host and market the competition and prepare for the Southwest Regional Spaceport in Upham, near Las Cruces, to become the country’s first licensed inland spaceport. This year, the legislature created the New Mexico Spaceport Authority to build and operate the Southwest Regional Spaceport and Governor Richardson committed $1 million dollars in capital outlay funds to support it.

Las Cruces International Airport will be the interim location until the Southwest Regional Spaceport is opened in 2007 or 2008.

About the X PRIZE Foundation

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs in space and technology for the benefit of humanity. On October 4th, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spacecraft to the edge of space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. Because of the dramatic nature of the achievement, the X PRIZE Foundation is now widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through the use of competitions. Specific and updated information regarding the activities scheduled for X PRIZE CUP 2005 can be found on the X PRIZE Foundation website: www.xprize.org.

For further information, contact Ian Murphy of the X PRIZE Foundation (press@xprize.org).

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