-- Wirefly Sponsors Event to Reward Excellence in Space Technology Innovation --
At Wirefly.com, we believe in the power of innovation to benefit society. That's because technology can be a great equalizer. Wirefly.com has revolutionized the way people shop for wireless services, enabling consumers to compare phones and plans across every available provider. We put powerful tools and information in the hands of consumers to help them make better decisions.
In the same spirit of rewarding technology excellence through open competition, Wirefly is proud to sponsor a two-year partnership with the X Prize Foundation, whose mission is to foster private-sector breakthroughs in science and engineering to benefit all of society
The Wirefly X Prize Cup, taking place October 20-21, 2006, will highlight entrepreneurial innovation and technological breakthroughs related to private space flight and future space exploration.
Dubbed the “Earth’s Great Space Exposition,” the Wirefly X Prize Cup features $2.5 million in prize money for teams competing in three distinct challenges: The Lunar Lander Challenge, the Vertical Rocket Challenge and the Space Elevator Games.
Headlining this year’s live rocket show is the $2 million Lunar Lander Challenge presented by NASA Centennial Challenges. Not since the Apollo program has man had a working vehicle capable of landing on the moon. If we are going to go back, both NASA and private companies need a system that is robust and relatively inexpensive. Spectators will watch as different vehicle designs compete to see which one will be the next generation lunar lander.
The Vertical Rocket Challenge is another lunar-landing-technology-focused competition
The primary differences between the Vertical Lander Challenge and the Lunar Lander Challenge are the minimum time of flight (90 vs. 180 sec.), the surface terrain at the landing sites (flat vs. rocky) and the degree of difficulty presented for precision landing.
During the Space Elevator Games, more than 20 teams will face the challenge to use light to power a vehicle along a tether -- this year up about 50 meters, but eventually hundreds and thousands of miles.
Several university and private teams will compete to see who can build a vehicle capable of climbing up Kevlar rope using only a beam of light as power. Physics and engineering innovate right in front of the crowd as a multitude of unique mechanical projects attempt to tackle of one of aerospace engineering’s most complex and difficult problems.
In addition to the featured competitions, the Wirefly X Prize Cup includes a series of rocketry exhibitions and educational presentations.
“Rocket Man” Dan Schlund will be on hand to demonstrate his “rocket belt,” a device which allows him to, quite literally, soar above the earth with a rocket strapped to his back. The Rocket Racing League (RRL) will debut the Mark-1 X-Racer, as a preview of the next-generation of motor sports.
Other exciting activities you can expect at this year’s X PRIZE CUP:
The Wirefly X Prize Cup represents a critical step in developing a privately financed presence in space, and serves to increase public appreciation for science and engineering education.
Because the Wirefly X Prize Cup is challenging competitors to achieve new breakthroughs, space flight will soon be that much more accessible to consumers. Who knows? Within our lifetimes spaceflight could become as much a commodity as the wireless technology we’ve come to rely upon today.
Wirefly (www.wirefly.com) is the online leader in one-stop comparison shopping for cell phones, wireless service plans and wireless accessories. Wirefly is an authorized dealer for every major cellular carrier in the U.S. Wirefly also offers discounts and services not available in retail wireless stores, including real-time online order status and tracking, and the guaranteed lowest price – online or anywhere else -- on cell phone devices from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG, BlackBerry and many other cell phone handset manufacturers. Wirefly.com has been named Best of the Web by Forbes magazine as the “best all-around number portability portal” and “Best in Overall Customer Experience” by Keynote Performance Systems. For more information on Wirefly, its wireless products and its services, visit www.wirefly.com.