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Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Historic Private Space Flight Attempt

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"The CATS Prize is designed ro inspire the future Henry Fords and Thomas Edison's of space."
Los Angeles, CA, May 20, 1999
– The first space launch of a rocket system designed without government assistance is scheduled for May 22, 1999 from the Black Rock desert in Nevada. The launch will be conducted by JP Aerospace, a Sacramento area company. It will be a test flight for a cash prize offered by the Space Frontier Foundation and the Foundation for the International Non-Governmental Development of Space (FINDS), two private, international organizations that promote the rapid human settlement and development of space. The Foundation's Cheap Access to Space (CATS) prize has attracted dozens of teams across the world to gear up to win the $250,000 prize by November 8, 2000.

JP Aerospace plans to launch its rocket to a height of 100 kilometers, a step towards future rockets designed to attain the 200 kilometer altitude required to win the CATS Prize. Although they expect many failures in the effort to win the prize, the organizers are confident that it can be won by the deadline, and that the project will help change people's thinking about who can play in the space arena.

"From the golden age of exploration to Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic, prizes have inspired imaginations and helped knock down barriers," says Foundation President Rick Tumlinson. "The CATS Prize is designed to inspire the future Henry Fords and Thomas Edisons of space, and to send a signal that anyone can participate in the opening of the frontier, not just governments."


The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The High Frontier is Gerard K. O'Neill's masterpiece. This new 3rd Edition Includes an introduction by Freeman Dyson.
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The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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