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Whom do you think will win the X-Prize and why?

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May22-03, 04:21 PM
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OK, place your bets people! Whom do you think will win the "X-Prize" and why?
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May23-03, 11:13 AM
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Greetings !
Originally posted by LURCH
OK, place your bets people! Whom do you
think will win the "X-Prize" and why?
I posted an identical thread in this forum
a month or more ago and even included a link
to the official site(
I think I just got one response. People here
are just intrested in PCs...

Anyway, I don't know about the progress of the
teams so it's difficult to place bets.
I keep hearing about the UK StarChaser that's
supposed to be launched by the end of this year.
Personally, I'll be dissapointed if they win
because the idea seems to lack any orginality
or significant economical potential.
I liked the Mir Corp.'s project about launching
a 2 tonn craft from an An. 124 (or was it the
single 225 ?). I also liked, I believe it was
a UK project, the launching craft attached to
a baloon and launched from an altitude of
several miles (I thought of this too before I
even saw their idea). Burt Rutan has a new idea
just uncovered a month ago - it's called
SpaceShipOne and you can find a discription
on the official website of Scaled Composites
( There are many other great
ideas, but like I said - most people here only
seem to be intrested in PCs.

Live long and prosper.
May25-03, 11:12 AM
P: 202
I don't think people here are only interested in P.C.s.
It's just that we don't know much about the X-Prize other than it exists. I'll read up on it every now-and-then, but I usually forget who's doing what.

I would place a bet that whoever can launch this year will win, even if they don't accomplish the requirements this year. However, I'm not optimistic that anyone will win. They only have 1 year left, don't they? That's not much time to get it done without increasing the risks.

May27-03, 07:09 PM
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P: 2,510
Whom do you think will win the X-Prize and why?

Although I like whaty I see coming out of Armadillo Aerospace, I think Rutan's got the the design to beat. The piggy-back idea is very usefull, but it is still a 2-stage. But the need for air-breathing engines within the atmosphere is clear. The amount of oxydizer needed for such an engine is much less.

A couple of things that seem rather conspicuous by there absence; a Hypersoar (X-42) with a rocket engine onboard, and catapults. Is it just me, or did you guys expect to see some steam powered catapults?
May30-03, 12:45 PM
P: 202
Does anybody recall or have a web-link about the design that is using H2O2 for fuel? I'm curious what benefits and drawbacks the fuel has and what lead them to believe it is the best for their rocket.
May30-03, 04:05 PM
FZ+'s Avatar
P: 1,954
Hmm... I dunno if that is a good idea. Accidentally introduce a little Cu catalyst, and BOOM.
May31-03, 11:31 AM
P: 120
I read about the X prize a few months ago drag and SpaceShipOne (by burt rutan) was in there so it was uncovered aat least 3 months ago...but anyways I like that idea and think that the airborne launch from white knight would be great. However I am not up to date on all of the teams ideas and spacecraft so I will look at the link that has been posted.
Jun5-03, 12:27 PM
P: 202
Originally posted by J-Man
Does anybody recall or have a web-link about the design that is using H2O2 for fuel? I'm curious what benefits and drawbacks the fuel has and what lead them to believe it is the best for their rocket.
To partially answer my own question...
Apparently, there are several teams using H2O2, but it is used as an oxidizer, not a fuel per se.

(from: )

Team Stage # Propulsion Oxidizer Fuel
ARCA 1-Rocket Hydrogen Peroxide Kerosene
Armadillo Aerospace 1-Rocket Hydrogen Peroxide -
Flight Exploration 1-Rocket Hydrogen Peroxide Kerosene
Fundamental Technology Systems 1-Plane Hydrogen Peroxide Kerosene
Micro-Space, Inc. 1-Rocket Hydrogen Peroxide Methyl Alcohol
Jun7-03, 07:20 PM
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Rutan appears to be in the lead. They test-flew a manned, full-sized prototype last week.
Jun12-03, 04:22 PM
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Here's an interesting artical from Space.Com that says the number of people volunteering for positions on X-craft actually increased following the latest Shuttle disaster.

Can't say I blame them; I'd go !
Jun30-03, 10:23 AM
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In case you missed the article at, one of the Canadian teams has chosen their launch site.
The Grimmus
Jul5-03, 10:25 PM
P: 205
I have just read another theread wher the goverment is holding a contest for technolgy...lazy sobs cant do it their selves
Guybrush Threepwood
Jul10-03, 07:29 AM
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Jul28-03, 03:57 PM
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And the Brits have just drop-tested their re-entry capsule. And their pilot!
Aug10-03, 11:31 PM
P: 202
The competition appears to be heating up.
Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne Flies
Aug11-03, 02:53 PM
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Yea, it sure looks like Rutans' Scaled Composits is gonna take it. But I still wouldn't count Pan Aero out of the running. They may be behind, but their design is simpler and could leap forward very quickly.
Sep18-03, 03:58 PM
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I just read that Rutan's team has tested their rocket engine with a full-duration burn. He's already flown the carrier aircraft with and without the rocket, and drop-tested the rocket which was flown to a glider landing. Doesn't sound like he has far to go.

So the question becomes,"whom do you see as the most likely second-place team?". I'm thinking PanAero, just because most of their hardware already exists and is tested. Adapting old tech to new jobs is often quicker than creating new designs from scratch.
Sep29-03, 05:36 PM
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According to this artical at, someone (either Scaled Composiets or Armadillo Aerospace) should be launching within the next year.

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