Today the Rocket Racing League (RRL) announced the date for its first exhibition race. The date is August 1-2 this year and will feature two racers flying planes powered by rocket engines on a 2-lap circuit around an airborne raceway. The RRL is pretty much NASCAR in the air and with rockets. Sounds pretty awesome don't you think; so make sure that you are there or at least see the video reports which I will have up for you. I think that it will be a lot more interesting than NASCAR, but we will see.
It is expected that around 700,000 people will attend this exhibition to watch the action on multiple 50-foot (15-meter) projection screens on site. The Rocket Racing League was founded in 2005 by Ansari X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and Whitelaw, an Indianapolis 500 veteran. The competitors will be piloted Mark 1 X-Racer rockets developed by the firm XCOR Aerospace in Mojave, California.
The league currently has six teams that will compete in four series of races throughout the year. After the first EAA AirVenture exhibition, later races will be staged at the Reno National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev., between Sept.10-14; at Aviation Nation at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev., on Nov. 8-9, and at the X Prize Cup in Las Cruces, N.M., in late October.
The rockets will be built by various aerospace companies and are quite advanced. The RRL has to give safety a great deal of focus considering that they are really piloting rockets and racing them in close proximity. I would imagine that the RRL will inspire a good number of advances in rocket technology so I have to say that this really is a good idea. But as you know, only time will tell.
Picture Source: The BBC.com