Headlines > News > Dreams, technology and passion for personal spaceflight dominate the day’s events

Dreams, technology and passion for personal spaceflight dominate the day’s events

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Oct 7, 2005 5:48 am
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X PRIZE Foundation PRESS RELEASE:
Las Cruces, NM (October 6, 2005) — Laying out the framework for a new industry in personal spaceflight, the X PRIZE Foundation and the State of New Mexico today inaugurated X PRIZE CUP Week by hosting the First International Symposium on Personal Spaceflight at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. The event was organized by the University’s College of Engineering and sponsored by Arianespace, Inc. The hundreds of industry and community leaders and students that attended heard presentations pertaining to the growth and nurturing of the new personal spaceflight industry.

Presenters at the international symposium included visionaries, state officials, academia, and business leaders as well as the Federal Aviation Administration. The symposium featured “astropreneurs” that discussed space tourism, aircraft design, regulation, economic development and other related issues.

The Countdown to the X PRIZE CUP Week continues with Space Education Day on Friday, October 7th, at the Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, and an exciting Personal Spaceflight EXPO on Sunday, October 9th at the Las Cruces International Airport. Information and tickets to all events are available at www.xpcup.com

The state of New Mexico has taken the lead in supporting the new personal spaceflight industry. At the luncheon keynote address, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans, told attendees that “the Southwest Regional Spaceport will be the incubator for this new industry and New Mexico will nurture the companies that will lead it.”

Presenters at the symposium included: Erik Lindbergh, X PRIZE Trustee, pilot and grandson of Charles Lindbergh; Rick Searfoss, three-time NASA Shuttle commander and pilot of the XCOR EZ-Rocket scheduled to fly at Sunday’s EXPO; and next generation rocketeers: Pablo de Leon, DeLeon & Associates, Argentina; Brian Feeney, da Vinci Project, CANADA; Charles Lauer, Rocketplane Ltd., USA; Steven Bennett, Starchaser Industries, USA; Jeff Greason, XCOR, USA; and Tim Pickens, Orion Aerospace, USA. The FAA was represented by Paula Trimble, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation.

Symposium sessions were organized around four tracks:

Ø Track One – Creating the Personal Spaceflight Revolution: The X PRIZE CUP
Ø Track Two – The Personal Spaceflight Experience: Space Tourism
Ø Track Three – Space as a Place: The New Economic Sector
Ø Track Four – Spaceports: Infrastructure for the New Space Economy

Quotes from Speakers

Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation: “The state of New Mexico has proven to be the most reliable partner to create the X PRIZE CUP and new personal spaceflight industry. We are thankful for their support and leadership — and for sharing in our dream of going to space.”

Rick Homans, Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department: “Dreams, technology passion and foresight…this is what the new personal spaceflight industry looks like at the beginning. New Mexico is committed to nurturing and growing this industry.”

Col. Rick Searfoss (Former NASA Astronaut; XCOR EZ-Rocket Pilot): Calling himself the “once and future astronaut,” Col. Searfoss told the audience that the industry can be creative in designing new vehicles for personal spaceflight. “Launching to space, is just how an astronaut gets to work,” said Searfoss. “The mission is about improving life here on earth and pursuing new ventures.” Searfoss will be the pilot for the EZ-Rocket demonstration on Sunday, October 9th at the Personal Spaceflight EXPO at Las Cruces Airport.

Jeff Greason, President, XCOR: “If we are to progress in spaceflight, we need to start making a profit.” On Monday, October 3rd, X PRIZE Founder Peter Diamandis announced the formation of Rocket Racers Inc, which initially will use XCOR vehicles.

Steven Bennett, President, Starchaser: “This is where it all starts. New Mexico is the ideal location for a spaceport and the business incentives are conducive to growing this industry.”

Brian Feeney, President, da Vinci Project: “We are in the entertainment industry.” “In order to attract capital, we will need to design our industry with entertainment in mind.”

Philippe Berterottier, VP, Marketing, Arianespace: noted that his company, which is today the most successful launcher of satellites, is highly interested in the entrepreneurial world that is designing launchers “that come back to Earth.” Arianespace is interested in building relationships with the new space entrepreneurs to grow the industry.

Anhtuan Ngo, Project Manager, USAF Research Lab, Dayton, OH: “The Government should play a role in supporting the development of the new space industry. As such, he is developing a workshop for April 2006 where the newly-emerging launchers can “meet and share proprietary information that could lead to future business with the US Air Force. This would build the industrial base for space exploration.”

Tim Franta, Space Adventures: “The personal spaceflight market is transitioning from being competition-driven to being customer-driven as the industry matures.

Priscilla Bloomquist, Professor NMSU: “I want to go to space for the view. We need to remember that as in all travel industries, this is always about the experience.”

Erik Lindbergh, Trustee, X PRIZE Foundation: “We are at the cusp of building a new industry. Some people say we are not normal but then again, people said that my grandfather Charles Lindbergh wasn’t normal.”

Events of X PRIZE CUP WEEK (www.xpcup.com)

(All times are Mountain time)

Thursday, October 6: Personal Spaceflight Symposium
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

Friday, October 7: Go. Experience Space Education Day (9a-4p)
New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo
More than 1000 5th graders to “experience space”

Saturday, October 8: NMSU Football Game, Las Cruces (NMSU Stadium)
Special Halftime show by the X PRIZE Foundation (6p)

Sunday, October 9: Countdown to the X PRIZE CUP EXPO
Las Cruces Airport (11a-5p)
Full Schedule at www.xpcup.com

Media events:

Friday, October 7: PRESS CONFERENCE FOR X PRIZE CUP WEEK
New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo
2pm (EXPO Rocketeers preview their performances)

Sunday, October 9: Tour of the EXPO, Las Cruces Airport
Hosted by Rick Homans, Sec. of Economic Development
State of New Mexico; and Peter Diamandis, Founder, X PRIZE Foundation

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