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RocketsSpace travel enthusiasts of all ages will converge at the Las Cruces International Airport, New Mexico October 20-21 for the Wirefly X Prize Cup 2006. The program promises a sneak peek at space travel and technology in the not-to-distant future. The twist is that the private sector provides most of the energy for the show.
Rockets in all shapes and sizes will be on display. Some home-made rockets will be launched and others will fire their engines.
The highlight of the two day expo will be three X Prize competions with over $2.5 million in prizes.
Space elevators may lift a little higher this year at the Spaceward Foundation's Space Elevator Games. Over 20 teams have entered a competition to use light to power a "climber" along a tether, this year up about 50 meters. Each "climber" will carry a payload and must travel at a minimum speed of 1 meter per second. The winner moves the highest in the shortest amount of time and receives a $200,000 prize.
Another $200,000 prize may awarded for the team that can make the strongest tether. NASA requires a 50 percent improvement in breaking force from last year. Scientists forsee incredibly long tethers that will guide "space elevators" along great distances. The moon?