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XPrize (Charles Lindbergh, Spirit of St. Louis)


SKU: 7362
Product Details

Nicely engraved specimen stock certificate from XPrize dating back to 2002. This document, which contains the printed signatures of the company President and Trustee, was printed by the Security-Columbian Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).


This certificate's great underprint features Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

The X Prize was inspired by the Orteig Prize—the 1919 prize worth 25,000 dollars offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig that encouraged a number of intrepid aviators in the mid-1920s to fly across the Atlantic Ocean—which was ultimately won in 1927 by Charles Lindbergh in his aircraft Spirit of St. Louis. In reading the book, The Spirit of St. Louis during 1994, Peter Diamandis realized that "such a prize, updated and offered ... as a space prize, might be just what was needed to bring space travel to the general public, to jump-start a commercial space industry."

Diamandis developed a fully formed idea for a "suborbital space barnstorming prize", and set an initial goal of finding backers to support a $10 million prize. He named it the X Prize, in part because "X" could serve as a variable for the name of the person who might later back the prize; any craft built to win the prize would be experimental, and a long line of experimental aircraft built for the US Air Force had been so designated, including the X-15 that was, in 1963, the first government-built craft to carry a human into space; and because "Ten is the Roman numeral X".

The X Prize was first publicly proposed by Diamandis in an address to the NSS International Space Development Conference in 1995. The competition goal was adopted from the SpaceCub project, demonstration of a private vehicle capable of flying a pilot to the edge of space, defined as 100 km altitude. This goal was selected to help encourage the space industry in the private sector, which is why the entries were not allowed to have any government funding. It aimed to demonstrate that spaceflight can be affordable and accessible to corporations and civilians, opening the door to commercial spaceflight and space tourism. It is also hoped that competition will breed innovation, introducing new low-cost methods of reaching Earth orbit, and ultimately pioneering low-cost space travel and unfettered human expansion into the solar system.