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The Audacity To Dream And The Audacity To Execute

To dismiss the X-Prize and the X-prize Cup, not only diminishes the great achievement of Burt Rutan and Space Ship One, but truly dismisses one of the greatest grass roots efforts to educate and inspire the next generation, to have the audacity to dream. Credit: X-Prize Cup.
by Michael Potter
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 27, 2006
On Friday morning October 20th, with the 6am morning dawn light, space professionals and enthusiasts streamed into the Las Cruces Airport in New Mexico for the X-Prize Cup events. There was a special spirit in the air, partly because of the festival like atmosphere, but also because many people recognized this to be part of a larger and more important historical event.

Some observers from the old space movement make the error of dismissing these activities as being another example of rocket hobbyists and associated cultists on steroids. These critics will probably charge that this is a waste of money and resources, while being outright goofy and embarrassing.

But the simple message to these folks, is they just do not get it. In the last 20 years where have the legacy space institutions taken humanity? There have been countless cost overruns, and numerous program set-backs, and there has been virtually no inspiration for change from the traditional space sources.

To perhaps over paraphrase, the title of an American politician's new book, the new space movement has "the audacity to dream, and the audacity to execute."

The X-Prize Cup not only brought together the Lunar Lander Challenge, the Vertical Rocket Challenge, the Elevator Competition, but it provided an outstanding venue for space professionals to meet and deal, while ensuring an excellent venue for the general public to learn at first hand the basics of rocketary and the technology for exploring space.

The X-Prize is about creating leverage and generating innovation. The money that the X-prize leverages, for the most part, would not be destined for traditional space activities. These monies are from new and entirely different sources than old space budgets.

The X-Prize Cup is betting that the Rocket Racing League X-Racers will create spin-offs for aerospace in the same way that auto racing has creating innovation and technology advance in automobiles.

To dismiss the X-Prize and the X-prize Cup, not only diminishes the great achievement of Burt Rutan and Space Ship One, but dismisses the grass roots efforts to educate and inspire the next generation, and who have the audacity to dream.

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A Second Childhood For The Rocketeers
Honolulu HI (SPX) Oct 27, 2006
Those who forget space history are condemned to repeat it - with better video quality... I've been watching video clips from the Wirefly X-Prize Cup at Las Cruces Airport and my reaction is an overpowering sense of deja vu. We've already seen this in cable TV documentaries. We already saw most of the X-Prize Cup events in grainy, silent black and white newsreel footage from Weimar Germany in the 1920s.

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