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Fri, Nov 07, 2003

"Rutan's Folly" Continuing To Earn Respect

PopSci Names Top Tech Innovations of 2003 -- Rutan's X-Prize Entry Among Them

One of my favorite features from an old 'alma mater' (I did some writing for them some years ago), is PopSci's Annual roundup of the coolest technologies of the year. Each year, thousands of new products and breakthrough technologies vie for the attention of PopSci's Editors. But only the best of the bunch -- those products that they think "inspire awe, envy, admiration" are included in the Best of What's New, featured in the December issue... which also turns out to be their most widely-read issue of the year.

The 16th annual Best of What's New, showcases the top 100 tech innovations in 12 categories: Automotive Tech, Space & Aviation, Cars, Computing, Gadgets, Home Entertainment, Home Tech, Personal Health, Photography and Recreation -- along with two new categories, Engineering and General Innovation. One winner in each category is awarded the highest honor, Grand Award, in recognition of products representing a leap over existing technologies.

Among the Grand Award winners are "some of the boldest, most mind-blowing innovations we've ever surveyed," said Scott Mowbray, editor in chief of Popular Science. "Best of What's New is the culmination of a year's worth of searching, testing and deciding from among a huge range of products -- all of which stand to change the way we live, work and play. This year's picks range from a 13-second, low-dose, full-body x-ray machine to a privately funded spaceplane and a safety system that helps vehicles steer clear of collisions."

In the category of SPACE & AVIATION, Burt Rutan's WHITE KNIGHT/SPACE SHIP ONE is the winner for 2003. Tier One is the first viable civilian space program, featuring Space Ship One (the space craft itself), and White Knight (the aircraft that ferries it up before launch). Burt Rutan, its inventor, hopes to win the X-Prize for the first civilian space flight later this year.

 

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