Thu, Jul 03, 2003
Selected as Chief Judge of The X PRIZE Competition
The X PRIZE Foundation
selected Colonel Rick Searfoss as the Chief Judge of the X PRIZE
Competition, adding to the recent flurry of activity in the race
for a three-person private sector reusable launch vehicle.
"The competition is heating up. We could see a winner within the
next 12 months. It's time to complete our judging panel. Rick
Searfoss' extensive career in aviation and space, linked with his
skills as a professional speaker make him the perfect candidate to
be our Chief Judge," explains Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and
Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation.
The Chief Judge's initial duty is to complete the development of
a pool of world-renowned aviation and space experts to judge the X
PRIZE Competition. The judges will ensure that the $10 Million X
PRIZE is awarded to the first team to fly a privately-financed
reusable three-person spaceship to an altitude of 62 miles -- and
repeat the trip within two weeks.
At the announcement ceremony, he said, "Since the day I
commanded a space mission, I've felt compelled to share the wonder
and vision of human spaceflight. To date, only 431 humans have
enjoyed the unbelievably spectacular, sublime adventure of flying
in space -- far too few! As Chief Judge of the X PRIZE Competition,
I'm deeply honored to witness the efforts of bold, creative, and
courageous private teams to reach space, make history, and pave the
way for many thousands more."
Colonel Rick Searfoss is an Astronaut and Shuttle Commander.
Throughout his career as an astronaut, test pilot, and fighter
pilot, he has logged over 5000 flying hours in 60 different types
of aircraft, plus nearly 1000 hours in space. In addition to
commanding the Neurolab team (STS-90) he piloted two previous space
flights, one of which was a joint Russian-American mission to the
International Space Station.
Colonel Searfoss was the number one graduate in his United States
Air Force Academy and Air Force Squadron Officer School classes and
earned a graduate degree from the California Institute of
Technology, which he attended on a National Science Foundation
fellowship. He was selected for Outstanding Young Men of America
and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter
Weapons (Topgun) School and Naval Test Pilot School. His numerous
other awards include USAF F-111 Instructor Pilot of the Year,
Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and NASA Outstanding
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