Those of you who read GEB regularly know I went to New Mexico this past weekend for the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup 2007. This is a wonderful air and space show where both planes and rockets are seen both on the ground and in the air. The X PRIZE Cup (XPC) was held this year at the Holloman Air Force Base, and was really well organized (I was fortunate to meet the CO General Dave Goldfein, and he definitely made this a smoothly run event). Google had a booth showing off Google Earth features, and the Google Lunar X Prize was prominently promoted. Part of the XPC is to exhibit lots of cool space things, this year they again invited over 6000 kids from schools all around New Mexico and Texas, and they also hold a number of contests related to space technologies. The big contest was for the Northrum Grumman $3 Million Lunar Lander Challenge. Armadillo Aerospace was the only contestant to qualify to attempt the required launches – but, they unfortunately just barely missed the first stage of the prize (only seven seconds short). See photos from other contestants by CNET.
I’ve uploaded a bunch of photos of the exhibits, planes in flight, one of the Armadillo flights (the one which tipped over at the end), and pictures of the kids and other people attending. The photos were geotagged using Google Earth with Picasa, then uploaded to a PicasaWeb Album which automatically creates a Google Map (turn on satellite view) of the photos, as well as a KML file suitable for viewing the photos in GE . PicasaWeb also lets you embed a slideshow of your photos on a web site – like this:
I flew a Cessna 182 out to New Mexico and landed in Las Cruces. Last week I released the GPS track of the flight out, and now you can also view the return trip in GE . On a related note, Joost Schreve of EveryTrail took my GPS track from the flight out and posted it using his mapping tool. There are a number of GPS track mapping tools out there with different features for displaying your tracks. Lots more coverage on the X PRIZE Cup by Space.com.
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