Out-Of-This-World Deal: TripAlertz Offers Space Flight

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http://crowdfactory.com, “I think we’ve come up with a compelling campaign,” said Brendan P. Murphy founder and chief inspiration officer,
noting he’ll use an application by San Francisco-based Crowd Factory Inc. to track referrals and conversions.
TripAlertz figures it will hit critical mass fast with the campaign, acquiring customers for about $1 a head.

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Out-Of-This-World Deal: TripAlertz Offers Space Flight

  1. 1. Out-Of-This-World Deal: TripAlertz Offers Space Flight - Venture Capita... http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2011/03/14/out-of-this-world-deal-tri... MARCH 14, 2011, 11:11 AM ET Here’s one out-of-this world discount you won’t find on Groupon. TripAlertz Inc. emerges from stealth mode this week, promoting a flight to space which executives hope will launch the start-up to cosmic growth. Founded last year and seeded by Conscious Living Ventures, White Elm Capital, and a handful of angel investors, TripAlertz is a Groupon for travel with a thick layer of social networking on top. The more people who sign up, the cheaper the hotel, cruise or other deal becomes. In the case of the space trip – a 30 minute journey to the edge of space for which XCOR Aersospace XCor Aerospace Inc. Inc. plans to charge $95,000 – the price drops to The Lynx suborbital spacecraft $85,000 once 10 or more people sign up. Unlike Groupon, there’s no limit to the number of people who can participate in the deal. In its push to build a critical mass of users quickly, TripAlertz will buy one of those trips and award it to a registered user. Every time a person spends a dollar or refers a friend it counts as an entry into the space trip sweepstakes. “I think we’ve come up with a compelling campaign,” said Brendan P. Murphy founder and chief inspiration officer, noting he’ll use an application by San Francisco-based Crowd Factory Inc. to track referrals and conversions. TripAlertz figures it will hit critical mass fast with the campaign, acquiring customers for about $1 a head. Murphy said the trip will be awarded at the firm’s “summer solstice” party in June. So what exactly will the trip include? Run by Mojave, Calif.-based XCOR Aerospace, each trip includes a requisite five-day training course at a resort in Arizona where users will be physically and psychologically tested to verify they are fit for space travel. If they are deemed fit (i.e., they don’t have claustrophobia, can handle weightlessness, hypoxia and a g-force of four) then XCOR will schedule a 2012 launch. Each day-tripping cosmonaut will board a Lynx, a fully reusable, liquid rocket-powered vehicle which will be piloted by Rick Searfoss, a former NASA Astronaut and retired colonel with the United States Air Force. Under construction now at XCOR Aerospace, the Lynx takes off and lands much like a plane, but the two-seater hits supersonic speeds within 60 seconds of takeoff, achieves a 75% trajectory and then goes straight up, according to1 of 2 3/14/2011 3:08 PM
  2. 2. Out-Of-This-World Deal: TripAlertz Offers Space Flight - Venture Capita... http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2011/03/14/out-of-this-world-deal-tri... XCOR Aerospace chief operating officer Andrew Nelson. The rocket powered vehicle goes about 175,000 feet above earth, or 33 miles, where passengers then experience weightlessness for about 10 minutes before beginning the return flight home. Only one passenger can fly at a time. “Most people who are generally fit are going to find this just fine,” said Nelson. “We’re going to have the most affordable space travel on the planet.” At $85,000 a pop, it’s considerably less than the $200,000 price quoted by Virgin Galactic LLC, Richard Branson’s commercial space venture. Here’s a simulation of a Lynx flight: Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com2 of 2 3/14/2011 3:08 PM

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