The original X-Prize was for a private spaceship, and the goal was to prove that a privately developed manned spaceship was viable. The Ansari X-Prize (named for it’s financial sponsor) was $10 million, and it was won by Scaled Composites in in 2004. Since then, the X-Prize Foundation has turned its attention to more practical matters such as a 100 MPG car (Progressive Automotive X-Prize) and, the latest to be awarded, the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X-Challenge.
The challenge was to beat 2500 gallons per minute of oil with an oil recovering efficiency (percentage of oil vs. water in the recovered gallons) of 70% or greater. The previous record was less than 1100 gallons per minute. Two companies beat the challenge, with the winner more than doubling the goal.
2nd place went to NOFI of Norway:
And the winner was Elastec of Illinois:
The complete videos from all the challengers are available here.
Image Credit: Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X-Challenge