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Cosmic Log Space Race Update

Published by Robin on Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:44 am
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by Alan Boyle, Sept. 10, 2004 | 8:45 p.m. ET

Space race update: The past couple of days have brought plenty of interesting developments in the race to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize — and other facets of the worldwide effort to foster private spaceflight:

* The Romanian ARCA team has tested its scaled-down demonstration rocket, according to Ansari X Prize Space Race News.
* Space Transport Corp., the Washington state-based team whose rocket made such a big splash last month, is planning engine tests this weekend and scouting out alternate launch sites that won’t run afoul of environmental rules, in advance of a planned Rubicon 2 test later this month. The Canadian da Vinci Project is planning a balloon test this weekend as well.
* An item on Slashdot should give a boost to the X Prize Foundation’s effort to recruit volunteers for ground duty during the upcoming launch attempts by the California-based SpaceShipOne team and the da Vinci Project.
* Congressional types are working out the procedural matters surrounding legislation that eventually could allow passengers to buy suborbital space rides, according to Clark Lindsey’s RLV News. But there’s still precious little time left to get congressional approval for HR 3752 — so private-spaceflight fans should contact their lawmakers, particularly if those lawmakers happen to sit on the Senate Commerce Committee.

There are already rumblings about what will come after the X Prize. How about putting up tens of millions of dollars for private orbital flight, or for the development of a private space module? Or is that putting the cart before the horse? As always, feel free to send in suggestions for the X+1 Prize.

Read Cosmic Log for all the interesting links in the update.

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