The other benefits of winning the Heinlein Prize

As you may have already heard, the trustees of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust awarded the first Heinlein Prize to Peter Diamandis last week. The prize, designed to reward practical contributions to space commercialization, went to Diamandis for his role in establishing the X Prize, among other space-related accomplishments. (Pat Bahn identified a number of potential prize candidates in an article in The Space Review in February; in a followup a month later he noted that since the prize rules limited qualifying contributions to after the creation of the prize in 2003, the X Prize was perhaps the only event that qualified.)

The prize carries with it a purse of $500,000, but it’s not the only thing Diamandis will receive when he accepts the award on July 7: according to the X Prize Foundation press release, he’ll also get “a gold Heinlein Medallion, the Lady Vivamus Sword (as described in Heinlein’s book Glory Road) and a Laureate’s Diploma.” A gold medal is not surprising, nor is a “Laureate’s Diploma” (assuming that it’s just a certificate of some kind), but a sword? A replica of the sword is available for sale (for just $2,500!) complete with the inscription described in the novel: “Dum vivimus, vivamus” (while we live, let us live”). Just try getting it through airport security on the flight home, though…

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