John Carmak is due to show his space credentials this month by the first public flights of the rocket technology he and fellow enthusiasts have been building. Carmak's company, Armadillo Aerospace
, will be just one of many private spaceflight entrupaneurs taking part in the first annual X-Prize Cup, a spin off of to the X-Prize that was won last year by SpaceShipOne:
One of the companies flying a vehicle will be Armadillo Aerospace, headed by Carmack, the programming genius behind best-selling games from id Software such as Doom and Quake.
Carmack said his company could send a man into space in a vertical-takeoff-and-landing spaceship as early as next year. His demo of a 10-foot-tall test vehicle will be the first public display of the company's work.
"It's a little conical rocket ship flying on a big tail of fire, and it's pretty cool," said Carmack. Carmack himself will pilot the vehicle by remote control in a fiery takeoff, midair hover and powered landing. "And I might swing it around a little bit, moving it from side to side inside a reasonably small box," he said.
More from Wired here
Is anyone going to Las Cruces to watch the Cup proceedings? What are your thoughts on the whole private space race that's emerging from SpaceShipOne's victory last year? Waste of time, or worthwhile venture? Should Carmack stop playing with big boys toys and get on with other things, such as the next quake engine? Let us know in our liquid fuelled, regenitively cooled news forums here