Celebrating 5 Years

"I strongly feel that, if we are successful, our program will mark the beginning of a renaissance for manned space flight. This might even be similar to that wonderful time period between 1908 and 1912 when the world went from a total of ten airplane pilots to hundreds of airplane types and thousands of pilots in 39 countries. We need affordable space travel to inspire our youth, to let them know that they can experience their dreams, can set significant goals and be in a position to lead all of us to future progress in exploration, discovery and fun." - Burt Rutan


The time has passed quickly, but yes indeed, yesterday (9/29) marked the 5th anniversary of Flight #1 of 2 of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne, as it rocketed toward suborbital space and the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. This Sunday, October 4th, marks the historic date of Flight #2 -- the day that the Prize was won, and, in many people's minds, the day that the personal spaceflight frontier was opened.

Peter Diamandis will be covering the history and significance of this event in much finer detail next week, and Brian Binnie will discuss what it was like to pilot the prize-winning SpaceShipOne flight in the next segment of "Launching Commercial Space Travel" series, which will be posted here on The Launch Pad later this week.

But we are also happy to announce two upcoming events to commemorate this exciting event:

EVENT #1: Q&A with Peter: Past, present, and future of X PRIZE

When: Tuesday, October 6, 1:00pm - 1:30pm PST/ 20:00 UTC
What: A chance to chat with Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. He will briefly discuss the winning of the Ansari X PRIZE, then will spend the rest of the time answering questions from the online audience.
Where: Streaming live from the X PRIZE office in L.A. -- The Google Lunar X PRIZE Ustream channel, located here.

We need a few crowdsourced questions for Peter prior to the live webcast -- so now is your chance to ask him any X PRIZE, space -related questions that you'd like. Will anyone be brave enough to ask about a Moonpie competition? Leave your questions in the comments section below, or via Twitter or Facebook. We'll also take a few questions live on Ustream, so be sure to tune in!

EVENT #2: Tweetup!

When: Monday, Oct. 5th, 7pm
What: A gathering of the Space Tweeps in L.A. to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the winning of the Ansari X PRIZE, the historic launch of Sputnik (Oct. 4, 1957), and World Space Week.
Where: Fifth Amendment Alehaus, Santa Monica, CA [directions] (free parking nearby, too!)

To celebrate numerous space achievements, we will be raising a glass together at the Fifth Amendment Alehaus -- which features a large selection of $3 beers on tap. Santa Monica was the original home of the X PRIZE Foundation, so we'll be returning to the old stomping grounds. Come out and meet some of the X PRIZE crew, we'd love to celebrate with the local space community!

We look forward to catching you all either on Ustream, or in person at our Space Tweetup event!

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