Headlines > News > X Prize to be awarded Nov. 6 in St. Louis

X Prize to be awarded Nov. 6 in St. Louis

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:39 am
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chabot imageAssociated Press: ST. LOUIS – Creators of SpaceShipOne, the rocket plane that completed two manned space flights from a Southern California airport in a competition meant to promote private space travel, will get the $10 million Ansari X Prize during a ceremony and rally next week in St. Louis.

The ceremony and rally honoring Scaled Composites LLC is set for Nov. 6 at Saint Louis University High School’s athletic field, next door to the St. Louis Science Center.

Burt Rutan, Scaled Composite’s team leader, will accept the check from the X Prize Foundation. He will be joined at the rally by his team of engineers, designers and pilots Brian Binnie and Mike Melvill.

The check will be presented in a 10:30 a.m. ceremony, followed by a day of Science Center activities including meetings with the Scaled Composites team, hands-on activities related to space flight and demonstrations of rocket launches.

Life-sized models of three of the X Prize competition spacecraft will be on display outside of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.

SpaceShipOne successfully completed two manned flights, to a minimum of 62.5 miles, into space within 14 days. SpaceShipOne, which took off from the Mojave Airport north of Los Angeles, completed the first flight Sept. 29, and a second flight on Oct. 4.

Paul Allen, chairman of St. Louis-based Charter Communications Inc. and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., and Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, also will attend the ceremony.

Allen partnered with Rutan to form Mojave Aerospace Ventures to fund the Scaled Composites team. Branson’s Virgin Galactic will sell suborbital space rides for about $200,000 per person, using SpaceShipOne’s technology.

Branson, one of Britain’s best known and most colorful entrepreneurs, has said he will reinvest any profits from Virgin Galactic into developing other space tourism business.

Branson said more than 7,000 people had registered their willingness to pay the fare to fly on Virgin’s proposed commercial space flights.

The Ansari X Prize was founded by the New Spirit of St. Louis. The Ansari family is the title sponsor of the prize.

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