By Mike Deliman
You’ve heard about it, haven’t you? The Google Lunar X prize?
The X-Prize foundation seeks to encourage radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.
In case you don’t know or don’t remember the Ansari X
prize, it was a contest for a private (non-government) entity too
engineer and launch a re-usable space entry vehicle twice within a
short time (to prove it was re-usable). Burt Rutan and his crew at Scaled Composites
created The White Knight and Space Ship One, and won the Ten Million
Dollar prize. Even though Paul Allen backed the project with a lot
more than $10mil in funding, you have to admit the results are pretty
fantastic: not only did they achieve the goal, but Virgin Atlantic is
going to create a service based on this. We may yet see commercial
flights into space affordable for folks who aren’t billionaires.