Burt Rutan and company dropped by St. Louis Saturday to pick up their check from the Ansari X-Prize folks.
“Eight years ago, we stood here and said one day someone is going to do something no one’s ever done before,” said Doug King, president of the Science Center.
The X Prize, offered to the first team to get into space twice in a 14-day span, will now evolve into a regular competition called the X Prize Cup, an annual event “where the average person can come and watch the next generations of space vehicles fly,” according to the organization’s Web site.
More than two dozen teams worldwide began projects in hopes of winning the original X Prize, and prize founder Peter Diamandis said the purpose of the Cup competition is to keep such groups going with a “grand prix of space.”
Given the number of crashes you see on the Grand Prix racing circuit, they may want to find a different analogy.