Press Release

Wirefly X Prize Cup Explores Expansion Plan

By SpaceRef Editor
December 17, 2006
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The X PRIZE Foundation announced today that following the tremendous success of the 2006 Wirefly X PRIZE Cup, event officials and the City of Las Cruces have begun the task of organizing and expanding the 2007 festivities.

“We want to fly vehicles bigger, faster and farther at the 2007 event,” said Marc Schulman, Vice President of Marketing for the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup. “With that in mind we have begun conversations with organizations in Southern New Mexico who can assist us in expanding the event.”

The X PRIZE Cup has already had exploratory conversations with White Sands Missile Range, Holloman AFB and our regional host community of Las Cruces. The State of New Mexico will continue its support of the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup in 2007. Positive feedback from the Governor’s office and direction from the administration’s Secretary of Economic Development, Rick Homans is a key partner in expanding this year’s events.

“In addition to Las Cruces continuing to be the regional host city for the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup, we hope to have other events held at White Sands Missile Range, White Sands National Monument Park and Holloman Air Force Base,” said Rick Homans, New Mexico’s Secretary of Economic Development. “The Wirefly X PRIZE Cup is one of many exciting aerospace developments that have chosen Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico as their home due to our commitment to Spaceport America and forging a progressive aerospace industry for our children and grandchildren.”

As the regional host city for all Wirefly X PRIZE Cup activities Las Cruces remains a crucial partner in expansion discussions. City leadership and community supporters have been contributing to the 2007 planning efforts. “The city’s administration is very much committed to continuing dialogue with the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup, to assist overall plans for expansion of this annual event, with Las Cruces maintaining it’s standing as the regional host community for this ever-growing economic engine,” explains Las Cruces City Manager Terrence Moore.

The Wirefly X PRIZE Cup has also consulted with other various community resources to assure that any expansion ideas continue to support the construction and completion of Spaceport America. “The Wirefly X PRIZE Cup is a regional event integrally connected to the development of Spaceport America,” said Steve Vierck, President and CEO, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA). “Expanding the number of Wirefly X PRIZE Cup – related events and involved communities should help broaden the appeal and recognition of southern New Mexico as the leading center for commercial spaceflight.”

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X PRIZE Foundation

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs in space and technology for the benefit of humanity. On October 4th, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private craft to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. Because of the dramatic nature of the achievement, the X PRIZE Foundation is now widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. Based on the success of the Ansari X PRIZE, The Foundation has partnered with the Economic Development Department for the state of New Mexico to produce the X PRIZE CUP. About New Mexico’s Aerospace Industry

Clear skies, mild weather, world-renowned research labs, and a growing aerospace industry make New Mexico an ideal location for the next generation of aerospace entrepreneurs. According to, New Mexico’s cost of doing business is among the 10 lowest of the 50 states—due largely to our competitive wages and low energy costs. New Mexico State University is starting an Aerospace Engineering Program to support the emerging space sectors in New Mexico. At the same time, we offer the infrastructure that aerospace firms need with Albuquerque International Sunport, White Sands Missile Range, two Air Force bases, many community airports, and the construction of the new $10 million Southwest Regional Spaceport in Southern New Mexico. Full details can be found at


The X PRIZE Foundation
Ian Murphy, 310-689-6397

SpaceRef staff editor.