The ANSARI X PRIZE is a $10,000,000 prize to jumpstart the space tourism industry through competition between the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world. The $10 Million cash prize will be awarded to the first team that:
- Privately finances, builds & launches a spaceship, able to carry three people to 100 kilometers (62.5 miles)
- Returns safely to Earth
- Repeats the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks
The ANSARI X PRIZE competition follows in the footsteps of more than 100 aviation incentive prizes offered between 1905 and 1935 which created today's multibillion dollar air transport industry.
For more than 30 years, the general public has waited for an opportunity to enjoy the space frontier on a first-hand basis. The X PRIZE Foundation is working to make space travel possible for all. The spaceships that compete for the ANSARI X PRIZE are designed to carry passengers.
Since its inception in May 1996, the X PRIZE Foundation has registered more than 20 teams from seven countries to compete for the prize. The ANSARI X PRIZE is fully funded through January 1, 2005, through private donations and backed by an insurance policy to guarantee that the $10 million is in place on the day that the prize is won. Additional funds are still being raised by the X PRIZE Foundation to implement the competition (judging, media, event management, etc.) and continue the Foundation's education mission.
The ANSARI X PRIZE was inspired by the early aviation prizes of the 20th Century, primarily the spectacular trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh in The Spirit of St. Louis which captured the US $25,000 (US$) Orteig prize in 1927. Through a smaller, faster, better approach to aviation, Lindbergh and his financial supporters, The Spirit of St. Louis Organization, demonstrated that a small professional team could outperform a large, government-style effort.
The Societal Benefits of the ANSARI X PRIZE include:
- Creation of a new generation of heroes
- Inspiring and educating students
- Focusing public attention and investment capital on this new business frontier
- Challenging explorers and rocket scientists around the world; and,
- Vehicles built for the ANSARI X PRIZE will eventually serve four different industries:
- Space Tourism
- Low-cost satellite launching
- Same-day package delivery
- Rapid point-to-point passenger travel