At first blush, the $28 million investment Paul Allen made to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize, awarded in 2004 for the first privately funded human spaceflights, did not make financial sense.  For starters, Allen split the prize with business partner Burt Rutan and the Mojave, California-based Scaled Composites team. Second, Allen passed on commercializing SpaceShipOne—an air-launched, winged, hybrid-motor spaceplane equipped with a rotating tail boom to change the ...

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