Simon’s Backup Weblog


Vooom! It’s the Rocket Racing League

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on October 4, 2005

The man behind the X-Prize has announced the formation of the Rocket Racing League.

Building on the work done with XCOR‘s rocket-powered Long-EZ, the RRL is aiming to encourage the development of lightweight reusable rocket motors by turning rocket aircraft into a TV-friendly sport. It’s an interesting approach, though I’m not entirely sure if it will work.

Like the X-Prize, the RRL is going to take a tiered approach. Tier 1 will race rocket-powered planes around a virtual course. Tier 2 will be a performance contest for SpaceShipOne-style sub-orbital craft. Tier 3 is the future we all dream of:

The Rocket Racing League envisions a future where a race begins with a fleet of with a sponsor-branded spaceships on a spaceport tarmac in the New Mexico desert, extends through the atmosphere into low earth orbit, circles the Earth one or more times, executes a high-speed re-entry and ultimately returns to the spaceport tarmac under the applause and awe of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of spectators worldwide.

It’s an approach that fits in nicely with Burt Rutan’s dream of encouraging a new generation of aerospace engineers by inspiring them.

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5 Responses to 'Vooom! It’s the Rocket Racing League'

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  1. megadog said,

    It’d be cool if they also had a “classic” section in the race – though I suspect the number of Me163 Komets still suitable for flight is somewhat small and the risks of T-stoff spillages great.

  2. ajshepherd said,

    Have you managed to catch any of the Red Bull Air Racing on TV? Half hour programme Saturday afternoon on Five. Presentation’s a bit crap, but the flying is amazing.

  3. ajshepherd said,

    There could be replicas!

  4. megadog said,

    Alas, Hannah Reitsch isn’t still around to give her impressions of how close the replica is to the real thing.

  5. daveon said,

    Stage 1, easy, Stage 2, easy, Stage 3?

    I’ll not say never, but I’m not holding my breath and Rand SImberg wouldn’t take my bet against this sort of things happening in the next 20 years.


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