Sunday, 1 August 2004

And They're Racing...

The ContendersFrom :
Aerospace engineer, Burt Rutan, leader of Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, has formally announced a timetable for back-to-back flights of the firm's SpaceShipOne rocket plane.

Rutan and his team have given its official 60-day notice, with the first X Prize attempt set for September 29 from the inland Mojave Spaceport in California. To win the $10 million, SpaceShipOne will need to make a second flight within two weeks, by October 13.

Hot on Rutan's heels is Brian Feeney, leader of the Canadian da Vinci Project. Feeney also reported today that his team is rolling out on August 5 their completed X Prize vehicle -- the balloon-lofted Wild Fire rocket. The public unveiling will take place at the team's Downsview Airport hanger in Toronto.

The da Vinci Project Team, widely heralded as a contender for the $10 million purse, will pursue its own Ansari X Prize space flight attempts this Fall.
The most amazing thing about the Canadian entry is the cost :
Feeney said that roughly $337,000 dollars in cash has gone into the balloon/rocket project, along with some $10 million to $15 million dollars worth of time donated by people, as well as help from in-kind sponsors.

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