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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Risk in Private Rocket Flights Worthwhile – Space Frontier Foundation Praises Heroes of a New Space Age

The X-Prize
Click above to visit the X Prize web site. Artwork courtesy the X Prize.
Los Angeles, CA, September 10, 2004
– As the X Prize sub-orbital rocket contest heats up, the Space Frontier Foundation is praising the imagination and bravery of the rocketeers competing to win this historic race to space.

"We are ecstatic that someone may well win the X Prize in the next few weeks," remarked the Foundation's Rick Tumlinson (a founding Trustee of the X Prize.) "We see this as a pivotal moment in human history, as the door to space is at last opened to regular people," he added. "But, we are also cognizant of the great risk involved, and we are sympathetic to the families of the people taking those great risks."

The Foundation has long fought for an open-to-all frontier in space, and is keen to see the X Prize won, but recognizes that the people of the world are watching, and will be judging the meaning of this new space race for themselves. The group sees our risk-adverse and litigious society as a real threat to our future, one that must be kept at bay by taking extra precautions, especially in an area that some see as the territory of the apparently more safety-conscious governments of the world. Ironically, any tragedy that is seen as frivolous can trigger a government reaction, which might threaten the entire alternative space movement of non-government firms and institutions trying to pry space away from its long standing all-government domain.

"Space is a frontier, and frontiers are risky," explained Tumlinson. "We also know that expanding any frontier comes at a heavy price, which many have paid for with their lives. As tragic as that is, the benefit to humanity is worth the risk, and we honor those willing to lay everything on the line and take it."

The Foundation believes it is important that people in government, the media and the general public understand that much more is at stake here than joyrides for rich guys. Just like the government space program, it is about humanity's highest aspirations: protecting the Earth, creating a freer and more prosperous life for future generations, but doing so by unleashing the power of free enterprise to open the space frontier.

"The new space age isn't just about frivolous fools flying freaky toys. We know that all the competing teams will do their utmost to protec their crews and the public. The bravery, creativity, ingenuity, vision and hope of these heroes should make us all proud," continued Tumlinson. "Flying paying customers into space for fun may seem silly or too dangerous to some, but this is just an entry market for what we hope will become a whole new industry – one that leads to opening space to all humanity. That is worth almost any risk."

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.
Click above to order The High Frontier from Amazon.com.

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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