The Google Lunar X Prize and Other Aerospace Competitions
Chapter 5: A first approach: the Ansari X Prize and the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge
The AXP was announced by the XPF in 1996. It offered a $10 million cash purse for the first non-governmental organization to build and launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks by 1 January 2005. This prize was privately funded and inspired by the early 20th century Orteig Prize for the first nonstop transatlantic flight between New York and Paris. Twenty-six teams from seven different countries entered this prize. The competition was won in 2004 by Scaled Composites, a USA aircraft design company. The winning flights are considered the first privately funded human spaceflights in history. This was the first prize program administered by the newly created XPF, an educational, non-profit corporation established in 1994 to inspire private, entrepreneurial advancements in space travel. It is also one of the first and most popular modern innovation prizes launched since the 1990s. Its purpose was to demonstrate the feasibility of private space flight, change existing public opinion about the private space indus try’s capabilities and generate concrete business opportunities for commercial space tourism (Maryniak, 2010). The prize challenge involved building and flying a manned vehicle to a suborbital space and having mostly privately funded projects.
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