Just for the record: Yesterday in St. Louis, the X Prize Foundation awarded Paul Allen and Burt Rutan the $10 million check they won for their SpaceShipOne launches of Sept. 29 and Oct. 4. (Other significant X Prize booty: a 200-pound, 5-foot-tall trophy.) I thought about going, but what with the election and other little things nagging at me (plus the reluctance of what I’ll call my freelance sponsors to pick up expenses for out-of-town trips, meaning I would have gone on my own dime) I didn’t make it.
The stories I see (I’ve only read a couple of them) don’t answer my biggest point of curiosity about the award: How the cash is going to be split up. Rutan has been very upfront that all the investment for SpaceShipOne came from Allen (no one but the principals knows exactly how much money went into the project; but after the second successful X Prize flight in October, Rutan remarked that winning the $10 million prize recouped 40 percent of Allen’s outlay, which would put the investment figure at $25 million. Anyway, Allen said he’d be sharing the jackpot with Rutan’s company, Scaled Composites; and Rutan said, in turn, that everyone at Scaled would share in the cash. I just wonder how much everyone got.