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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
They Did It! Space Frontier Foundation Lauds X Prize Winner, Calls It The Beginning of a New American Space Age

X-Prize winners
L to R: Peter Diamandis, CEO of the X-Prize, and Scaled Composites' Mike Melvill, Burt Rutan and Brian Binnie. Photo courtesy the X-Prize.
Mojave, CA, October 4, 2004
– The Space Frontier Foundation today congratulated the successful final X Prize flight by Scaled Composites today, calling it the beginning of a new American Space Age.

"The X Prize has drawn attention to the dawn of the new American Space Age, a living, breathing, civilian space program," said the Foundation's Rick Tumlinson. "The world now knows that space is not a government program, but the birthright of all humanity, and that the private sector is stepping up to the plate and getting in the game in a big way."

The Foundation's members see the X Prize competition as the beginning of a flood of successful private sector projects that will put people and payloads into space. They predict that these beginning sub-orbital flights will be orbital and eventually lunar flights.

"There is no limit to what the private sector can do," Tumlinson remarked, "and future prizes by the private sector and the government will keep the incentives coming for great accomplishments. Most of all, today's flight shows it is time for the government to get out of the Earth-to-space transportation business and back to exploration."

The Foundation is hopeful that the success of the X Prize will convince the government to offer prizes and contracts to a variety of commercial firms, rather than trying to operate its own vehicles. It supports new prize initiatives and believes the development of a New Space industry carrying both commercial and government people and payloads into space is the only way NASA can afford to carry out plans to go back to the Moon and on to Mars.

"This summer Burt Rutan and his team blew the hinges off the door to space with their first flight. Now they have shown they can keep that door wide open for all of us," stated Tumlinson. "Scaled Composites and the X Prize are proving that access to space can be made routine, which means costs will drop and more and more people will get to go including government astronauts on their way to the Moon and Mars."

Both the X Prize and Scaled Composites will be receiving Awards from the Foundation at its thirteenth annual conference on RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach California, October 8-10, 2004. Also in attendance will be many alternative space firms and other X Prize team members and leaders.

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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 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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