Joshua Neubert is the community events coordinator for the X-Prize Foundation in New Mexico, and joins us to talk about the X-Prize Cup, the Virgin-Galactic Spaceport, and the explosive growth of private space-endeavors all occurring in New Mexico. We also cover what’s next for the X-Prize project, and examine the competition from the up-and-coming America’s Space-Prize competition sponsored by Bigelow Aerospace.

A 2005 corporate/state agreement resulted in the building of the $225 million dollar spaceport on a 27 square mile area of state land, and will be inspired by design-guru Philip Starck, who envisions the underground structure as being visible on the surface as the image of a giant eye looking skyward.

The X-Prize Cup is the outgrowth of the widely-publicized X-Prize competition, won by Burt Rutan’s Scaled-Composites “Spaceship One” entry in 2004. Given the public success of the competition, the X-Prize Foundation has re-envisioned the event as an annual competition which the public can attend in order to experience space and be a part of the next generation of spaceflight.

The X-Prize Cup, in partnership with the new Rocket Racing League, is part of a new grassroots endeavor to engage the public in the emerging private spaceflight industry, and they plan launch this new competition in the spirit large-scale action-packed spectator events like Grand Prix Racing and The America’s Cup sailing competition.