20050609

Wired News: Race for Next Space Prize Ignites

Wired News: Race for Next Space Prize Ignites: "Five to orbit is a significant number; it's the number required to win the next big space prize. America's Space Prize is a $50 million purse established last year by Las Vegas hotelier and, yes, space entrepreneur, Robert Bigelow. Bigelow will award the money to the first U.S. company to build, without government funding, a spaceship that can send five people into orbit twice within 60 days. Bigelow has more than an academic interest in commercial spaceflight; through his Bigelow Aerospace, he's expanding his real estate empire off-planet with the first commercial space stations. While he can launch his stations on existing unmanned commercial rockets, he needs an orbital passenger vehicle to succeed in his venture."

It looks like people and companies are getting into position for the next big economic bang. This time it will be space ventures competing to get off the ground. A number of successful billionaires are running this space rush to orbit. It shouldn't be too much longer for the Moon, Near Earth Objects, and Mars to be within reach.

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