How cool is this?! Dr. Peter Diamandis, whose X PRIZE competition kick-started private spaceflight, has found something else to do with manned rockets - race 'em! Dr. Diamandis announced Monday the launch of the Rocket Racing League - "an aerospace entertainment organization that combines the competition of racing with the excitement of rocketry."

Similar to auto racing organizations, the RRL will run races across the U.S., with the finals taking place at the X PRIZE Cup in New Mexico.

"Race tracks" are planned to be about 2 miles long, 1 mile wide and about 1 mile high. The rocket planes will fly a course with long straights, vertical ascents and deep banks.

The first prototype X-Racer will launch October 9 at the 2005 X PRIZE Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

(We know this isn't exactly auto-related, but it was way too cool to pass up!)

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