Headlines > News > Briton's investment keeps West End rocketeers' eye on the X Prize

Briton's investment keeps West End rocketeers' eye on the X Prize

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:48 pm
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chabot imagepeninsuladailynews.com by JEFF CHEW: FORKS — Two West End rocket engineers’ attempt at launching the first privately owned manned spacecraft is getting a boost from Europe.

Space Transport Corp.’s Rubicon 2 rocket is being built near Port Townsend for a tentative launch in late September, thanks in great part to the company’s newest stockholder — a British company.

Spacefleet Ltd., based in the small town of Devizes in the southwest of England, has bought a $22,000 stake in the Forks-based space tourism and aerospace engineering firm.

Spacefleet’s managing director, Dr. Raymond D. Wright, has been following the progress of worldwide competitors for the $10 million Ansari X Prize — including Space Transport — and contacted company founders Phillip Storm and Eric Meier after Rubicon 1 fell at launch into the ocean off Queets on Aug. 8.

The two aerospace engineers have been dashing to recruit sponsors and investors to fund their efforts to compete for the X Prize by year’s end.

To win, they must launch their 23-foot rocket to suborbital space at 62.1 miles above Earth twice within three weeks, and reuse most of the spacecraft.

The spacecraft must also be manned by at least one astronaut.

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