Tuesday, February 26, 2008

$2 million Sunshine Bonus to X-Prize winner for launch from Florida

Space Hobby:
Space Florida Announces Strategic Partnership with the X PRIZE Foundation to Make Florida the First Preferred Launch Site for the Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition

Grand Prize Winner will receive $2M Bonus Prize for Successful Florida Based Launch

Kennedy Space Center, FL – Space Florida, the principal organization charged by the Florida Legislature with promoting and developing Florida’s aerospace industry, today announced that it will be a new preferred partner and Florida will become the first preferred launch site for the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. Each preferred partner offers additional prizes or strategic services at a discounted rate to all competition teams.
As the first preferred launch site, Space Florida will award an additional prize of $2 million to the Grand Prize winner of the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition, provided the winner launched the winning flight from the State of Florida and upon confirmation that the winner has complied with all competition rules.

Space Florida was created by the Florida Legislature to sustain Florida's position as the global leader in space exploration and commerce, and is the principal organization charged with promoting and developing Florida's aerospace industry.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition encouraging privately funded teams to land a robotic craft on the Moon. The craft must be capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth. More information can be found at: http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/

“We are delighted to be associated with the Google Lunar X Prize competition,” states Space Florida President, Steve Kohler. “Every US mission to the Moon has launched from the State of Florida and this agreement creates a powerful incentive for any Google Lunar X PRIZE competitor to launch their entry from the State of Florida and will allow the State to become the future hub for commercial projects, ultimately attracting a wide variety of small and large business entrants in various locations across Florida.”

“America’s first steps to the Moon launched out of Florida,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “As teams head back to the Moon in pursuit of the Google Lunar X PRIZE, I imagine that they will once again look towards the Florida Spaceport. We greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and financial incentives Florida is providing to the competition and teams around the world.”

Human spaceflight operations are a critical part of Florida’s economy – bringing $1.68 billion into the State annually and employing 30,000. But as NASA plans to retire the current Space Shuttle program by 2010 and unique and progressive partnerships such as the one signed today with the X PRIZE Foundation, will leverage the State’s expertise and reputation in the aerospace industry while establishing new and robust economic opportunities.

Space Florida drives aerospace economic development in Florida and serves as a catalyst for space-related business development, education, spaceport operations, research and development, workforce development, and financing.

“2008 will prove to be another exciting year for raising the level of awareness of the importance of space to our state,” continued Kohler. “Diversification of the Florida aerospace industry – a critical path for bringing in new business and job opportunities - is a key area of Space Florida’s focus and we are thrilled to be working with nonprofit, public and private partners to make this happen for Florida.”

Space Florida was created by the Florida Legislature to sustain Florida’s position as the global leader in space exploration and commerce, and is the principal organization charged with promoting and developing Florida’s aerospace industry. Created as a unique special district, Space Florida serves as the single point of contact for aerospace with federal agencies, military, State agencies, universities, and the private sector. As part of its mission, Space Florida promotes aerospace economic development across Florida, and drives industry-related education and workforce development initiatives, expanded and upgraded spaceport operations, innovative research and development, and financing. If your future is in space, your next step is to contact Space Florida. For more information: http://www.spaceflorida.gov/

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE Foundation has since launched the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE and the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, and will continue to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, exploration, equity of opportunity and sustainability. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit http://www.xprize.org/ or email prcontact@xprize.org.

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