These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
X-Prize - the Grown-Up's Toy Rocket
If you think the size of model rockets has
gotten out of hand, you haven't seen anything yet. A group of international space enthusiasts has offered the $10
million "X-Prize" to the first private entrepreneur that successfully builds a vehicle that will launch three
people (or a pilot and two equivalent dummies) to the suborbital altitude of 62 miles, on two consecutive flights
within 2 weeks of each other. Everyone must survive. Around 20 teams, some made up of more than 100 engineers and
scientists, have taken up the challenge. All plan to be towed by airplane or floated by balloon to an altitude of
30,000+ feet prior to releasing for rocket burn to space. Landing schemes vary from parachute to a space
shuttle-like glide. The contest was conceived in honor of the 1919, $25k Orteig Prize that motivated Charles
Lindbergh to make his New York-to-Paris flight in 1927. The da Vinci team from Canada plans to claim the prize
within a year. Burt Rutan, of course, thinks otherwise.