Rocket Racing League

For fans of the X Prize, the Red Bull (ne Reno) Air Races, and rocketry and aviation in general, the future is bright (with a 20 foot flame behind it) and approaching fast.

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and race car capitalist Granger Whitelaw launched the Rocket Racing League last October, and the first Rocket Racing Team was announced last month.

The Rocket Racing League [will] organize competitions around the United States, with the finals taking place at the X Prize Cup in New Mexico.

"It’s bringing 21st-century racing into people’s personal living rooms. … It’s really the mix of NASCAR excitement and spaceflight," Diamandis told journalists Monday….

"For me, it’s sort of a remembrance of ‘Star Wars’ pod racing," Diamandis said….

"Courses are expected to be approximately two miles long, one mile wide, and about 5,000 feet high, running perpendicularly to spectators," the league said. "The rocket planes, called X-Racers, will take off from a runway both in a staggered fashion and side-by side and fly a course based on the design of a Grand Prix competition, with long straightaways, vertical ascents, and deep banks. Each pilot will follow his or her own virtual ‘tunnel’ or ‘track’ of space through which to fly, safely separated from their competitors by a few hundred feet."

The League also announced a contest allowing fans to name the first X-Racer Rocket Plane. Meanwhile, Sebadoh is accepting donations to pay for travel to the debut of the first X-Racer, this October in Las Cruces. Pony up, Rocco.