2nd Annual X Prize Cup

IMG_6473.JPGFriday and Saturday marked the second annual X Prize cup in which the AP has a article about. I wasn’t able to make it to this years event (my pictures from last years are on Flickr).

A lot of other people did go and they put their pictures on Flickr. Looks like it was a much better event with real working aircraft. One thing I noted last year were most of the stuff on display were mockups, as opposed to actual working machines. Not to mention that they had more stuff in the air. I will try to go next year but will go for sure when it’s at the real space port.

Another interesting note, last year it was call the “preview event” and this year it’s called the “second annual”, meaning that last year was really the “first annual”. Whatever.

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Spaceport America

Goodbye Southwest Regional Spaceport. Hello Spaceport America. New Mexico officials planned to unveil the new name Monday for a proposed $225 million space hub where British billionaire Sir Richard Branson hopes to send paying tourists on suborbital flights. The previous name was a mouthful to pronounce and didn’t reflect the cutting-edge vision of the project, said New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans.

I’m not sure I like the new name. Having a space port is cool no matter what the name.

New Mexico Space Port Moves Forward

Good news for New Mexico’s space port. Virgin Atlantic has agreed to set up shop there being known as Virgin Galactic.

The first customer has been secured for the planned $225 million spaceport in southern New Mexico and state officials plan to announce Wednesday that construction of the facility will now move forward.

State officials, including Gov. Bill Richardson, also will announce tomorrow that London-based Virgin Galactic, a subsidiary of Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., will be the facility’s first lease holder and plans to pay $1 million a year for the first five years of its 20-year lease.

I’m getting excited about this. I’ve always wanted to be a astronaut but I never had the “right stuff” (namely not being a Air Force pilot). This may provide me an opportunity to participate in the space race.

NM Spaceports First Launch

I drove by the New Mexico Space Port a few years ago, it was a sign with a dirt field behind it. Apparently they are going to launch their first rocket into space next year. I will have to check it out again.

The first launch from New Mexico’s Southwest Regional Spaceport is on — and set for March 27, according to Gov. Bill Richardson. Richardson’s office announced Tuesday that UP Aerospace, of Connecticut, will launch its SpaceLoft rocket on a sub-orbital flight from the New Mexico Spaceport on that date. The flight will carry seven experimental and commercial payloads for a variety of scholastic and business entities and, after traveling into space, the rocket and its payloads will land in the downrange area of the Spaceport, Richardson’s office announced.

New Mexico's Space Port

The Southwest Regional Spaceport located in New Mexico has been chosen as the location of the X Prize competition. The X Prize competition is a contest to get a civilian spacecraft into space and back to earth. The winner gets $10 million US dollars.

I believe the Spaceport is located south of Roswell. On the way back from Carlsbad Caverns last year I recall seeing a sign saying “Future Location of the Southwest Reginal Spaceport” with a big field behind it. I thought it was some crackpot scheme related to the UFO landing near Roswell. Guess not.