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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2004


NSS lauds first ANSARI X PRIZE success

Combines with Branson and Bigelow announcements to knit the fabric of a new space economy

Mojave, California: Members of the National Space Society cheered the first ANSARI X PRIZE launch attempt of SpaceShipOne today. Pilot Mike Melvill skillfully guided the craft high above Mojave Spaceport to exceed the required altitude of 62.5 miles, and meet the first requirement to win the $10 million prize.

"The first ANSARI X PRIZE launch attempt is now officially a success," said George Whitesides, Executive Director of NSS. "Spaceflight is a daring endeavor, and Mike Melvill's skill has shown through once again."

"This flight is the essence of what moves this country forward: great daring for great reward," said Whitesides.

Coming on the heels of two important announcements by entrepreneurs Robert Bigelow and Richard Branson, the first flight is a striking indication of the creation of a new space economy.

"The pieces are coming together: Rutan's spacecraft, Branson's spaceline, and Bigelow's space station," Whitesides continued. "With the pending launch of Elon Musk's rocket, the outlines of the new space age are coming into focus."

NSS also congratulates Peter Diamandis and Gregg Maryniak, the chairman and executive director of the X PRIZE Foundation, on the first realization of their dream.

"All eyes are now on Mojave to see if SpaceShipOne can be returned to flight in less than two weeks," concluded Whitesides. "The members of NSS wish Scaled Composites and American Mojave Aerospace Ventures best of luck for the coming days."
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About the National Space Society

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, international, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space.

Individuals who wish to show their support for space can do so via www.nss.org/join or www.nss.org/donate.

For More Information:
George Whitesides
Executive Director
National Space Society
(202) 429-1600
george@nss.org


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