Los Angeles, CA, October 14, 2004 – The Space Frontier Foundation Saturday bestowed two prestigious awards on Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites Tier One Team, creators of SpaceShipOne, and the Ansari X-Prize Foundation, for their recent dramatic contributions in opening the space frontier.
“These two organizations have done what no one in the private sector has ever done before…flown a civilian in space on a commercial rocketship, and by doing so they blew the hinges off the door to the frontier,” said the Foundation’s Rick Tumlinson. “It is only fitting that the Space Frontier Foundation gives its highest honors to those who have flown the highest. We are proud to be able to recognize their accomplishments.”
In a surprise appearance at the Foundation’s annual awards banquet aboard the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach California, CEO and famed aircraft and spacecraft designer Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites received the Foundation’s prestigious “Vision to Reality Award,” given only to those who have successfully completed a “frontier-enabling” project. This year’s winner, Scaled Composites, led by Rutan and funded by billionaire and fellow award winner Paul Allen flew SpaceShipOne, the first private human-piloted spacecraft, into space twice in five days, to qualify to the Ansari X Prize. Past winners of the “Vision to Reality Award” include the team that put Dennis Tito into space, Boeing’s Sea Launch rocket team, MirCorp, SpaceHab and others.
The Ansari X Prize Foundation, represented by film Producer and Board Member Robert Weiss, received the “Founders’ Award” for putting up the 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, which was accomplished by Scaled Composites. “The Foundation believes this goal has spurred a wave of new entrants into the spaceflight arena,” remarked Tumlinson. “It 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 were presented at the Foundation’s annual conference on the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach California, October 8-10, 2004. For further information go to: