The Rocket Racing League announced today that three new teams have entered the fray.
Joining the three U.S-based teams in the inaugural season-- Bridenstine Rocket Racing, Santa Fe Racing and Thunderhawk Rocket Racing?will be Rocket Star Racing, Team Extreme Rocket Racing and Canada-based Beyond Gravity Rocket Racing join
"Our goal has been to bring diverse international teams to the League with highly skilled world-class pilots and flight crews coming from both civilian and military backgrounds," company co-founder and CEO Granger Whitelaw said in a press release. "These guys will be competing with each other even on their drive to the quarterly League picnic."
The announcement is good news for the league which ran into some difficulty in May this year when the Leading Edge Rocket Racing team?the first team to sign on to the event--announced its intent to withdraw from the nascent league due to fundamentally different approaches to how to approach the business.
The three new teams are:
- Rocket Star Racing, led by Todd White, a former Navy Test Pilot and Internet entrepreneur. Todd is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School and received a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School. Todd was named Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20) Test Pilot of the year in 1996.
- Team Extreme Rocket Racing, led by Navy Lt. Bryan Schwartz, currently on active service. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Bryan's instructs pilot teams in precision formation flying, navigating $25 million fighter jets at distances as close as 4 feet, on how to conduct precise aerobatic maneuvers in both daytime and nighttime scenarios.
- Beyond Gravity Rocket Racing is led by Canadian team owner Brian Feeney, founder of the 1996 Da Vinci Project which was a leading contender in the Ansari X PRIZE Competition. More recently Brian launched the DreamSpace Group whose focused activities include manned spaceflight technology development, space tourism and rocket-based sports and entertainment events.
Formed in 2005 by Ansari X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and auto racing team veteran Granger Whitelaw, the Rocket Racing League is intended to provide NASCAR-like races in the skies above Las Cruces, New Mexico using piloted Mark 1 X-Racer rockets. The rocket racers are based on the EZ-Rocket design developed by the firm XCOR Aerospace in Mojave, California and are slated to make their competitive debut later this year.