I was talking to BBB today about the historic flight planned for 21 June, when the private flight in to space is scheduled to occur. This will not be an Ansari X Prize attempt — presumably that will be later.
What is interesting, as BBB pointed out, is that NASA couldn’t win the prize even if they were a private organization. To win, the space ship must fly twice in a two week period. What vehicle that NASA has ever built can do that? Certainly not the Space Shuttle! Maybe the X-15, although it doesn’t seem likely (average turnaround time between flights: 44 days). So NASA, after decades of work and hundred of billions of dollars, is still unable to compete with the variety of private organizations operating on a shoe string. At what point should this failure be accepted?