Talk:Ansari X Prize

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Update Needed[edit]

Now the contest is over, we should update a lot of pages. I've just come from one about that guy who programmed Quake's project. What links here is enormous, but may help --80.58.20.170 16:21, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Spelling/Capitalization?[edit]

Is there any reason why Ansari X Prize is in all caps? While that is how they spell it on the official Web site, I think they're the only ones who do so. Tregoweth 15:27, Jun 21, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I think this is another instance of a phenomenon I've seen discussed elsewhere (e.g. Talk:Bionicle [aw, crap, I never did get a sysop/admin to history-merge that], Talk:Nintendo GameCube) where companies will tend to draw attention to their main products/brands/etc by spelling them in ALL CAPS wherever they appear - a bit like labelling it as a trademark, only perhaps more customer-based rather than legally-so.
In actual fact, I just spotted this on the official site: "ANSARI X PRIZE® is a registered trademark. All writing on this web site is rights reserved © 2004 by The X Prize Foundation" - neatly demonstrating the non-100% consistency of their own capitalisation (although probably 95% of the time they use caps) at the same time as my hypothesised motive.
The more I look at that site (here's another counter-example), the more I think we should go with a more natural capitalisation - I think using all caps is just plain ugly, and we have no need to draw attention to their trademark. But I'll wait and see who objects first, before moving. - IMSoP 19:27, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You are quite correct ... companies love ALL CAPS and other oddball things that make them stand out typographically ... They would insist that their names be written in 24-point, all-red text with stars around it, if they thought they could get away with it. The only complexity is that de-capitalizing this means creating a new page and merging the text. - DavidWBrooks 19:51, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I tend to agree that traditional capitalization ("Ansari X-Prize") would look a lot better. I've seen news articles and other sites on the web (other than the official X-Prize pages) use the all caps version, but I think most don't. I did a quick count on Google, and in the first 10 links I found that weren't official X-Prize sites, two used all caps, five use traditional capitalization, two used "Ansari X PRIZE", and one used "ANSARI X Prize" (go figure). I for one would not be the least bit upset if it changed to "Ansari X-Prize" or "Ansari X Prize", those look more professional. Of course, in order to maintain history we'd have to do a move; can we "move" to an article that already exists and has a redirect on it? - Eisnel 08:51, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
In any event, they don't seem to use a hyphen, so Ansari X Prize would probably be the proper name to use. - Tregoweth 15:52, Jun 22, 2004 (UTC)
In response to how moves work over redirects, there are two options: since it (Ansari X Prize) has only ever been a redirect to this page, the software may allow us to just shove it over the top (although I'm never sure if there are additional conditions for that); if not, an admin/sysop can just delete the redirect, and then the move can proceed as usual. Under no circumstances copy and paste the contents of an article.
On another note, do you think we should try and formulate a policy (to be ultimately added to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) I guess) on how to deal with commercial all-caps of this kind? What kind of evidence would we accept as showing an all caps name to be "correct"? Maybe I should mention it on da PUMP... - IMSoP 18:34, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Speaking as a newspaperman who has wrestled with this issue most of my career, you will find it surprisingly difficult to establish a policy. In theory, it's easy: AP style is that only acronyms are written all caps. (British newspaper style is stricter: only one-syllable acronyms get all caps, which is why Americans write it NATO but Brits write it Nato.)
However, tech corporate names break traditional capitalization rules (e.g., iMac, GEnie) and so do creative works (e.g., M*A*S*H, thirtysomething). If you're going to write "e.e. cummings", why not "ANSARI"? It's their name, shouldn't they be allowed to spell it the way they want?
Personally, I say yes, within very strict limits. (ANSARI should not be all caps - it's a person's last name) But establishing those limits is hard even in top-down style environments like a newspaper - it's VERY hard (probably impossible) in an open-source environment like wikipedia. - DavidWBrooks 18:49, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thank you, DavidWBrooks for Being Bold and making the move. However, you made two mistakes: you spelt "Ansari" wrong in the new name, and you ignored the message about checking for double redirects - of which there were no less than 12! All fixed now, though, so no harm done. :D - IMSoP 23:51, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Er, thanks, I guess - but I didn't make the move. (I may be bold but I'm also lazy) Somebody else must have. However, it looks much better now. - DavidWBrooks 02:36, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I tried to do it but got an obtuse error message, so I asked admin Hajor to move it, and he did - hence the double-redirect issue (I suppose he figured I'd fix that - but since IMSoP did, we're all set. Thanks, all! -- ke4roh 10:46, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Huh? Now I'm confused - I could swear it was David's name that showed up in my watchlist! Ah well, one way or another, the move has happened. Flibble. - IMSoP 10:57, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

History[edit]

What is the history of the X-Prize? As I recall, the prize has been offered for successively more complex tasks, and nobody has accomplished one of these tasks in time to win the prize. -- ke4roh 23:57, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I checked on ancient newsgroups and found an an announcement for the kickoff banquet for the X-Prize in which they said, "The multi-million cash prize will be awarded to the first group to privately build and demonstrate a spaceship which can carry at least three people to a 100 km (sub-orbital) altitude on a repeatable basis. Details of the X Prize rules will be announced on May 18th (1996)." [1]
The earliest mention of an X-Prize on Google Groups was April 6, 1994 where Jeff Foust (SEDS USA President) mentioned an intern opportunity to work for a Congressional representative looking into the X-Prize and other space-related things [2]
So my recollection was either inaccurate or from before the actual prize was announced. I recall hearing about the X-Prize at a restaunt where Peter Diamandis and I were dining (along with many others) from UAH SEDS during what I think was the ISDC conference in Huntsville (probably 1993). -- ke4roh 17:59, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)
The X-prize in its final form was first announced as a banquet speech at the 1995 International Space Development in Cleveland, Ohio, so if you remember hearing about the X-prize at an ISDC conference, you may be misremembering which one. The videos of the conference are indexed here: [3]. However, before this announcement, Peter Diamandis had already been proposing the idea of using the prize format for stimulating space, and this had been documented in various places, most notably in his editorial in Ad Astra, the magazine of the National Space Society, proposing billion-plus dollar prizes to be funded by Congress for missions to Mars. The 1994 reference to an "X" prize at the US House of Representatives refers to this, not to the final version, which was privately funded. --Geoffrey A. Landis 17:30, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Wild Fire (Mark VI?)[edit]

I had initially referred to the da Vinci Project's craft as "Wild Fire Mark VI", but someone changed it to "Wild Fire" because they couldn't find proof that it had the "Mark VI" at the end. I understand that, because Google searches for "Wild Fire Mark VI" come up blank. However, I got that name from the team's home page. They announced that "the Wild Fire Mark VI spacecraft will be unveiled at a public and media photo opportunity on Thursday August 5th 2004". However, I will grant that it's the only place I've seen the "Mark VI" appended to the name. So I'm content to wait until after August 5th to see if that name is used at the unveiling, or if they just refer to it as "Wild Fire". - Eisnel 18:15, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)


[edit]

To do: Replace the 'X Prize' logo with 'Ansari X Prize' logo. Astudent 02:23, 2004 Aug 21 (UTC)


So, is anyone going to add the news?[edit]

Now that the prize has been won, of course some explanation of that situation needs to be incorporated into this article, but I haven't the time now. Anybody willing to research a few news articles? [[User:Livajo|力伟|т]] 00:41, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

What entity actually won the prize?[edit]

The article says Tier One, but the award was presented today to Mojave Aerospace Ventures — I was there, and that is what the literature being handed out said, and how the check was made out. They're related, of course, but how? And how should the winner be explained in this article? --Kbh3rd 01:10, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Units[edit]

I don't understand what "conversion to normal English units" is supposed to mean.

  • "Miles" are about as normal an English unit as there is. Indeed its use has persisted to a degree in England decades after metrification.
  • The definition of the beginning of space for the X Prize, as given in the article, is in kilometeres, not meters. The analog of kilometers is miles, not feet.
  • Although aircraft altitude is usually stated in thousands of feet, spacecraft altitude is usually stated in miles.
  • If compelling reason exists for giving the altitude in feet, it should be stated as 328,084 feet. Although rounding is often acceptable, in this case attaining an altitude of "only" 328,000 feet would not have won the prize.

Kbh3rd 16:31, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Feet are the "normal" English units for altitude in aviation.
The only people in the aviation or space industries who ever use "miles" for vertical distance are NASA in connection with the space station and space shuttles, and their usage is very ambiguous and confusing because they use "nautical miles" internally, but these often end of as "statute miles" after the public affairs office gets their fingers on the numbers. Unfortunately, both camps within NASA often just use "miles" without identifying them.
In metric aviation units, either kilometres or metres can be used—there is no complicated conversion as there is for feet to miles.
The notion that "kilometers go to miles" or "centimeters go to inches" or "inches go to centimetres" (e.g. mirror diameters of large telescopes) is silly.
See the discussion of the registration number N328KF of Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne.
Gene Nygaard 16:55, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It seems that the situation is something like this:
  • Feet are used for altitude in aviation. (At least in the U.S. What about the rest of the world? Has international flight control standardized on feet to avoid Mars Polar Lander-like mistakes?)
  • For spaceflight, it appears from NASA's discussion of orbital elements[4] that kilometers are used technically, while miles, an ambiguable term, is used by and for the general public in the U.S.
This is about a spaceship, so I could argue for one of the latter usage over the former, irrespective of the registration number of Spaceship One – that may be based on a standard but certainly is not an authority for setting one. Nevertheless, I'm not really in an arguing mood. How about phrasing something like this:
100 km (over 138,000 feet, or about 62 miles)
Technically accurate usage may be a virtue in an encyclopedia, but let's not forget that the non-technical public is the overwhelming majority of the readership here.
Warning: the following wanders dangerously close to the philosophical.
Keep in mind that numbers of a certain magnitude are beyond the ability of the mind to grasp firmly. What's 138,000 feet? Without this discussion, I wouldn't have a clue. But I know of a town about 60 miles from here, and I can mentally stand that road up vertically and imagine how far up that really is.
Another example: How much is 1,417,459,400 gallons? 4,350 acre feet. I received a message on my talk page in response to an article I wrote that referenced the capacity of a certain reservoir. The poster, from New Zealand, I think, was quite amused at the use of the unit "acre feet", a standard engineering unit in the U.S. I know from real estate what an acre looks like and can imagine the better part of a mile of water stacked on it. I also know that 1 square mile is 640 acres, so I can image a square mile of land flooded to a depth of 6 or 7 or so feet. That is not nearly as "precise" as 1,417,459,400 gallons, but the visualization is a whole lot more accurate than it would be if given just the gallon figure (if my mental arithmetic is not flawed!) Likewise, 537,000 m³ is easily visualized as a square kilometer flooded to a depth of over 5 meters.
For purely technical uses, it may be "silly" to always convert km→mi, m→ft, cm→in if the metric and imperial scientific and engineering communities have other standards of usage in a given field. But outside of those communities it's not silly to use units that people can make sense of. If the edge of space is rather arbitrarilly defined as 100 km instead of 100,000 m or 10,000,000 cm, it may be because the kilometer is the metric unit of measure that is "best" applied to this scale. And if that is so, I could argue (but I'm not being argumentative, remember) that miles would be the "best" translation for the very same reasons.
Kbh3rd 21:34, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't have any real problem with putting miles back in, now that I've made my point. Rather than "abouts" I've carried the conversions far enough so that they are over the minimum, and so that it is clear that they are not the primary numbers. Gene Nygaard 01:18, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Number of teams[edit]

I just did some research on the X-Prize and to my knowledge there were only 26 teams participating. I spoke to the Ansari X-Prize press people and they told me the same. Also, your list of teams only contains 26 names.

Gregg Maryniak[edit]

There should be the name of Gregg Maryniak somewhere. The bottom line is that he is running the shop.137.82.201.125 17:44, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Dump the caps[edit]

I will add my voice to the camp saying that all caps for the word "X Prize" is silly, pretentious, and incorrect (unless it's an acronym, which it's not). I tried to make it consistent, by keeping the capitals for the actual trademark "ANSARI X-PRIZE" and making the usage lower-case when talking about the X Prize generally, rather than going with my personal preference, which would be to lower all the caps.

Why is Wikipedia caps sensitive, anyway? I can't think of any sense to this. Are there any reasonable cases where somebody would look up a phrase in lower case, and prefer NOT to see hits on the phrase in caps? Geoffrey.landis 17:36, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

New X-Prizes[edit]

$10 million to sequence 100 human genomes, etc. All of these are evolutions of the first prize, and, in a real encyclopedia ( not one run by ignorant, warring "editors" ) this would at least be mentioned. Source: http://www.xprize.org/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.19.12.56 (talk) 04:41, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

The genome prize is mentioned in the article introduction and a link is provided to the Archon X Prize. This is an article about the Ansari X Prize, which does not have anything to do with genome sequencing. I challenge you to name one encyclopedia (besides Wikipedia) that has an article about the Archon X Prize. Wronkiew (talk) 05:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Logo[edit]

This article should have the X-Prize logo -- 65.94.171.217 (talk) 12:51, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

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