Doom Rocket Man Preps for Liftoff

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The burgeoning commercial spaceflight industry is about to hold its first big convention, replete with rocket launches, flying space vehicles and the first demonstration of games whiz John Carmack's spaceship-in-progress.

The X Prize Cup will touch down Oct. 6 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, not far from the Roswell of UFO lore and the White Sands Missile Range.

It's a fitting locale for what organizers hope will become a mecca for thousands of space fans, entrepreneurs and their families in years to come.

"Space for far too long has been something we just see on TV or read about, and not something that we can personally participate in," said X Prize Foundation founder Dr. Peter Diamandis, whose Ansari X Prize last year awarded $10 million to the builders of the first manned commercial spaceship. "And that's what our goal is here, to make it something you can personally get involved in."

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