X Prize -- The End Of The Beginning?

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The Race For Space Continues...

With the X Prize in the bag, the question is, what happens next? Still to come is the official handing-over of that $10 million check, scheduled for Nov. 6 at the St. Louis Science Center. Burt Rutan told the media that he plans to use some of that cash to pay bonuses to every Scaled Composites employee. The X Prize Foundation hopes to keep the two-dozen-plus runner-up teams motivated to stay in the race by hosting an annual X Prize Cup in New Mexico, offering multimillion-dollar prizes for fast turnarounds, passenger counts, maximum altitude and fastest flight time. On Monday, organizers announced they have secured the first major sponsor for the event, International Fuel Technologies. And there's that $50 million prize in the works for the first privately funded orbital vehicle. Not to mention Richard Branson's multimillion-dollar deal with Rutan to produce spacecraft for Virgin Galactic.