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First reaction to Alpha Centauri Prize

14 Aug 2013, 19:03 UTC
First reaction to Alpha Centauri Prize
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

On the eve of Starship Congress in Dallas, word and reaction to our new Alpha Centauri Prize (see earlier post), for which the $500 dollar prize money is sponsored by Icarus Interstellar, is getting out. At Centauri Dreams Paul Gilster compares the Prize to past competitions in aviation and aerospace (think Charles Lindbergh or Burt Rutan, he writes) but recognises the forward-looking nature of the Prize, noting that in this case the Alpha Centauri Prize is applying similar principles to design studies that “will surely out-run present day engineering”. He notes that “With government funding all but non-existent on most of these concepts, it’s heartening to think that philanthropic alternatives can be found to push studies across the spectrum of propulsion options. A torrent of research papers would be a welcome outcome of such competitions.”
Meanwhile, over at Discovery News Ian O’Neill also recognises the competition’s similarities to things like the Ansari X-Prize that saw SpaceShipOne become the first private space vehicle to take a pilot into sub-orbital flight, but appreciates that “sending a spacecraft to another star is very different than launching space tourists to an altitude of 100 kilometers. But both prizes draw their inspiration from early aerospace ...

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