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Monday, October 23, 2006

NASA Dominates At X-Prize Cup 2006

Las Cruces, New Mexico, hosted a rocket show promoting private development of space last weekend. There is a budding market for private space ventures. Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites has partnered with Virgin Galactic to build a fleet of spaceships to fly private tourists into space in the near future. Las Vegas-based hotel billionaire Robert Bigelow's company, Bigelow Aerospace, has an inflatable prototype space station in orbit right now. Bigelow plans to launch a full-size space station for human habitation by 2010.

A host of companies attended the X-Prize Cup and showcased their plans for private human space travel. Yet NASA was a dominant force at the event. One private space company and teams of college and high-school students competed to win NASA prize money. A private market for space is developing but government is still the biggest player. (More here.)




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