The Canadian Arrow X-Prize team is taking applications for its X Prize attempt. It’s going to be a show down between this group and many others including John Carmack’s Armadillo. Let’s hope that the X-Prize foundations ‘end of 2004’ deadline doesn’t inspire people to cut corners on safety.

“The X PRIZE was founded on May 18,1996 in St. Louis for the specific purpose of stimulating the creation of a new generation of launch vehicles designed to carry passengers into space. Today if you are interested in flying there are only two options, the US Space Shuttle or the Russian Soyuz, and neither of these are available at a reasonable cost or on a regular basis to the general public. The problem is not the lack of financial resources among today’s adventure tourists, nor the demand in the marketplace, but specifically the lack of licensed, low-cost, reliable vehicles. Taking a lesson from the history books, we modeled the X PRIZE after the early aviation prizes. Between 1905 and 1935, hundreds of aviation prizes stimulated the create of very different aircraft designs, each of which explored different regions of flight and different mechanisms for optimizing speed, safety and low cost travel. Today the X PRIZE is doing the same. Since our inception three years ago over 19 teams have registered from five countries for the competition and we have raised over $5M towards the prize.”

Peter H. Diamandis