Rocket Planes, A New Era For Air Racing...

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Loud, Exciting, And ... Loud

Will racing do for rockets in the 21st century what it did for aviation in the early part of the 20th century? That's the hope of the forward-thinking folks that brought you the Ansari X Prize. X Prize founder Peter Diamandis, along with car-racing executive Granger Whitelaw, have formed the Rocket Racing League, in which rocket-powered planes will square off against each other in head-to-head competition. Diamandis said that while the race series will be tremendous spectator sport, it will also help advance private exploration of space. He called the races "a critical commercial step in opening up the space frontier." He said government has dropped the ball in making space flight accessible to the public and the races are part of his goal to ignite space entrepreneurialism. "I want to spark the enterprise space effort the same way it happened in aviation, computers, and the Internet," he told MSNBC.