Headlines > News > Rocketboosters preparing for X-Prize flights

Rocketboosters preparing for X-Prize flights

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:56 pm
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chabot imageBy Bill Deaver: MOJAVE — Mojave Rocketboosters will sell SpaceShipOne souvenirs during the spaceship’s attempts to win the $10 million Ansari X-Prize later this month.
Rocketboosters president Tonya Rutan told volunteers last week that East Kern Airport District general manager Stuart Witt has again given the charitable group exclusive permission to raise funds for local charities by selling merchandise bearing the SpaceShipOne logo.
Rutan said negotiations with the organization hired by X-Prize officials to manage the two prize attempts ended.
“They will sell their merchandise and we will sell ours,” Rutan said, commending Witt for “standing behind us.”
The management group had offered to pay the Rocketboosters and use its volunteers if they agreed to allow the outsiders exclusive rights to sell souvenirs.
Profits from all merchandise sold by the Rocketboosters is shared with local charitable organizations which provide volunteers to handle sales. Following the meeting at Camelot Golf Club, Rutan presented a check to Mojave Boys & Girls Club president Kelly Sanchez.
Local sales
As the Sept. 29 date for the first flight approaches, SpaceShipOne items will be available for sale to East Kern residents at “hometown prices,” Rutan said. A second flight will be attempted within 10 days of the first flight, in keeping with X-Prize rules.
Shirlee Wilson, who manages to local sales, said items will be available at several local businesses, including Gardner Realty, Mojave Desert Bank, Jim’s Radio Shack, the Mojave Desert News, and the Voyager Restaurant. Wilson said she is negotiating with other outlets.
Merchandise on-sale includes T-shirts in youth and adult sizes, men’s and women’s golf shirts, ball caps, and travel mugs.
All bear the official SpaceShipOne logo, which SpaceShipOne sponsor Paul G. Allen granted the Rocket boosters exclusive permission to sell.
Pins n’ patches
Rutan said patches and cloisonne pins bearing the logo are on order and will be available for sale at the X-Prize events.
“We’ve had lots of calls for these items,” she said.
Local businesses interested in helping local charities by selling SpaceShipOne merchandise may call Wilson at 661.754.0384, or e-mailing her at parson@antelecom.net.
Rocketboosters merchandise is also available on the net at www.rocketboosters.org, and will be sold at California City Heritage Days, Mojave Gold Rush Days, and other local festivals.

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