The company I’m with, Masten Space Systems, is now one of the sponsors for the X-Prize Cup personal spaceflight exposition. I’ll probably be there with my family, as will David Masten (the boss), and Michael Mealling (our VP of business development). We won’t be demoing anything there this year, but we will have a stand there with information about what we’re up to.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see how the X-Prize Cup turns out. There’s some definite hurdles to jump, such as getting a reasonable regulatory setup, building up the infrastructure, getting sufficient branding and interest, etc. But there’s also a lot of potential too, particularly for helping smaller entrepreneurial firms get into the business. I particularly like their race ideas that involve teams having to demonstrate quick turn-around times for their vehicles. I think we’ll see a lot of innovation in flight operations coming out of this event, and maybe a decent amount of funding for small teams trying to push some of the technological envelope.
In spite of the fact that it’ll be a few years till they are fully operational with all of their races, the expositions over the next few years should be quite interesting. Hopefully by next October we’ll have an XA-0.4 flight demonstrator to show off to the public. Should be a lot of fun.