Despite the particulars, the general question of minimal orbital
machinery is still interesting.

Maybe this is something our folks working on orbital transition
mechanics would want to look at?

 > Interesting, thanks for pointing it out!
 > Unfortunately, I'm loathe to have us publically associate
 > with these people, who have already made public comments
 > such as "The awarders of the prize strongly discourage the
 > seeking of permits, and the cost of such permits will be
 > considered part of the cost of the launch", and "Costs for
 > complying with regulations are counted, but not legal costs
 > or fines for non-compliance."
 > One of the things that has made it possible for us to keep
 > the club going in the US in the current environment has been
 > that we've scrupulously followed the rules and regs.  It's
 > also a safety issue---not so much for us as for the
 > less-sophisticated who will try to claim this prize with
 > really dangerous schemes.
 > Sad.  With a little better thought, this could have been a
 > great goal for us.
 >> I stumbled across the N-Prize the other day, a low-budget successor  
 >> to the X Prize. The prize is £10k for launching a 10g payload and  
 >> tracking it for 9 orbits purchasing under £1k of launch materials  
 >> before 2011-9-19. Amazingly, even though this started out as a joke  
 >> idea at the half-bakery (,  
 >> there are already six teams that have expressed interest.

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