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Pushing for the next giant leap

Published by Rob on Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:17 pm
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By Jo Twist , BBC News science and technology reporter

Humans have a “moral imperative” to open up space as a “new frontier”, says X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis.
He also believes that within the next decade humans will find ubiquitous life on Mars and, in our lifetime, millions of people will be going into space.
Mr Diamandis addressed last week’s Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in Oxford, held in Europe for the first time.
TED Global brings together scientists, designers and big thinkers to discuss how to make a better future for all.
High ambition

“If you think about space, everything we hold of value on this planet is in infinite supply there,” Mr Diamandis explains.
“Earth is a crumb in a supermarket full of resources.”
Inspired by the Apollo mission, it has been his ambition since childhood to take people into space, he says.
Mr Diamandis raised cash with help from the Ansari Foundation and others to create the Ansari X-Prize.
The prize rewarded the first non-government funded manned craft to reach the official 60km boundary of space twice in two weeks.
The $10m jackpot was won by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites team in 2004.
Its SpaceShipOne craft was the first vehicle to achieve the feat, and a modified version will now form the fleet for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourist service.

To read more of this article please visit the BBC Technology Page

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