Los Angeles, CA, October 8, 2004 – The Space Frontier Foundation announced it will present awards Saturday night, October 9, 2004, to Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites Team, and to the X Prize Foundation, for their recent dramatic contributions to opening the commercial space frontier. The awards will come as part of the Foundation’s annual conference, held this year on the RMS Queen Mary in Los Angeles.
Following the successful two flights that won Scaled Composites, Inc. the ten million dollar Ansari X Prize last week, Foundation founder Rick Tumlinson announced, “As of last week, a revolution in human spaceflight is under way. Space is no longer reserved for the government. These two private sector organizations are leading that revolution and we are proud to be able to recognize their accomplishments.”
The Foundation’s prestigious “Vision to Reality Award” is given only to those who have “pulled off” a successful frontier-enabling project. Scaled Composites, led by famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan, and funded by billionaire Paul Allen, flew SpaceShipOne, the first private human-piloted spacecraft into space twice in the past two weeks, to qualify for the Ansari X Prize. “This accomplishment blew the hinges off the door to space,” said Tumlinson. “His team demonstrated that it doesn’t take billions of dollars to get into space. Their flight heralded the beginning of a new space age.” Past winners include the team that put Dennis Tito into space, Boeing’s Sea Launch rocket team, SpaceHab and others.
The Ansari X Prize Foundation, will receive the “Founders’ Award” for offering, and soon paying, a ten million dollar prize to the first team to fly to the edge of space and return, two times in a period of two weeks. The Foundation believes this goal has spurred a wave of new entrants into the spaceflight arena, seeded innovation, and created a new awareness that space is not just an incredibly expensive government domain.
“The Ansari X Prize has inspired teams all over the world to come together and try to do what was once thought of as impossible,” Tumlinson explained. “It’s incredible seeing real spaceships being built with very little funding across the globe, from Argentina to Israel to the USA. By awarding ten million dollars, an amount that in the space field is a relatively small sum, the X Prize Foundation has made a priceless contribution to the cause of opening space to everyone.”
The awards will be presented at the Foundation’s conference, in the Brittania Salon on the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach California, October 8-10, 2004. This conference is open to the public. For further information and registration go to: