The X Prize Cup, an annual rocket race and showcase set to touch down every October in Las Cruces, New Mexico, held its inaugural gathering on October 9. Founder Peter Diamandis, whose X Prize Foundation last year awarded $10 million for the first private manned spaceship, plans for the XP Cup to be a chance for space fans to meet the engineers and pilots of a new generation of commercial spaceships and to watch them compete in rocket races both in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Yet so far only one company, Scaled Composites in Mojave, California, has launched a person into space without government help funding, and the first rocket races are scheduled for next October’s XP Cup. Therefore, with notable exceptions, most of the ships on display were mock-ups or small-scale technology demonstrators of proposed spacecraft, not full-scale working models.
Click here to see these prototype spaceships and to learn more about how and when they’ll fly.
ROCKET OF DOOM
VON BRAUN WOULD BE PROUD
THE BALLOON STRATEGY
PROBLEMATIC TEST FLIGHT
THE NEXT BEST HOPE FOR SPACE
READY FOR THE RACES