X Prize Foundation Grosses $1.2 Million from Ansari X Prize Anniversary Tour

We’re getting our first updates on the exclusive $40,000 per person Ansari X Prize 10th Anniversary trip being lead by X Prize Foundation Founder Peter Diamandis.

It appears as if “about 30” people signed up for the trip, grossing the X Prize Foundation about $1.2 million. The group includes W. Brett Wilson, whom Canadians will remember as having formerly starred on the CBC show Dragon’s Den, and mining magnate Rob McEwen, whom Canadians will remember as the guy who digs big holes in the ground.

Diamandis posted the above video from the group’s trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The video is annoying; there’s the backup vehicle for the Mars Curiosity — the largest and most sophisticated robotic planetary rover in history, pride of a nation — and you’re sitting there hoping he’ll zoom in and give us a close-up view of it, describe its features and all the awesome things it can do. Not many people get a chance to see it up close; be our eyes and ears, please.

Instead, Diamandis’ head keeps getting in the way as he talks about how JPL needs to up its game on micro-processors and puts in a plug for all the great work he’s doing to change that situation. Yeah, OK….hie’s got a point. But, still….the processors are only one part of a very cool rover.

Participants were originally scheduled to fly weightless aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE One aircraft today. However, that trip was suddenly dropped from the schedule last week after Parabolic Arc wrote about the itinerary. There are questions about whether the Boeing 727 has replaced the jet engines that a leasing company repossessed in June.

Instead, participants will be listening to the “top” teams in the Google Lunar X Prize talk about how they plan to land rovers on the moon.