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Airborne's Annual April 1st Episode

Thu, Oct 13, 2005

Best Things Overheard At The X Prize Countdown

Our Top Ten Lists Go to Eleven

11. "Your mission, should you choose to accept it --" XCOR Aerospace's Jeff Greason, asking someone back at the base to acquire and send a replacement valve, forthwith.

10. "Sound of a rocket -- cool!" - Project head Brian Feeney onstage (above), when his discussion with the X-Prize Foundation's Greg Maryniak was interrupted by the loud hiss of XCOR's teacart engine.

9. "We send your stuff up in this rocket to try to contact the aliens. If it comes back to earth, you get your stuff with a certificate that it was launched from Roswell to try to reach the aliens. If it doesn't come back, we presume the aliens took our rocket. In that case, all you get is a certificate. But it says you sent your stuff to the aliens."
-- Beyond Earth representative's sales pitch for their "Alien Abduction" service.

8. "He's the smartest guy I ever met." -- three different people on three different occasions, referring to Greg Maryniak.

7. "People complain about the green color. That's just the final primer coat." -- Brian Feeney.

6. "We're here to see whom we want to buy." -- Arianespace executive at the First Personal Spaceflight Seminar.

5. "Will Build Rockets For Food" -- Back of t-shirt worn by a middle-aged space writer.

4. "Armadillo Droppings" -- sign on Armadillo Aerospace's table of burnt, burst, detonated, shredded, or otherwise ruined hardware -- all of which was for sale, proceeds to advance the project. "100% Authentic Quality Rocket Debris."

3. "The Meek shall inherit the Earth. The rest of us will go to the Stars."  -- back of shirt worn by a teenage girl.

2. "My dad told me that it was OK with him if I went into the rocket business. As long as I understood I was going to be poor." -- XCOR's Rich Pournelle.

1. "Once you have been to space, you want to go back." -- Shuttle pilot and commander Col. Rick Searfoss, USAF (ret), who has been there three times -- so far.



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