I'm not sure about everyone, but I'll bet most of you have never heard of the
X-Prize. Twenty-six teams from around the world are financing, designing and
building crafts in order to snag the $10 million prize also known as "The Race
The spaceship must be launched 100 kilometers from Earth into
the sub-orbital cusp of space, then return safely. A successful launch must then
be repeated within two weeks.
Canadian Arrow, one of two Canadian teams vying for the prestigious award, is
opening up the world's first commercial astronaut training centre. The chosen
applicants will be able to train as astronauts, costing $5,000 to $35,000. The
initial sub-orbital flights will run at approximately $100,000.
In spring the team leader, Geoff Sheerin, aims for an unmanned test launch from
a lake barge near Sarnia, a city that borders on Lake Huron.
About 35 private donors and corporations are involved in the project, and the
six-member team is drawing ever closer to glory and fame. They already made
history a few weeks ago when they successfully tested their half-million
horsepower rocket engine.
Many feel the X-Prize will open up commercial space flight, while others are
skeptical about whether or not our current technology is advanced enough. In any
case, this contest may be over by the end of 2005.
Good luck to all, and reach for the stars! :)