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Future launch schedules: Rutan and Da Vinci

Posted by: The Legionnaire - Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:34 pm
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Future launch schedules: Rutan and Da Vinci 

When do you think an X PRIZE team will put a man above 100 km altitude?
April 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
May 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
June 15%  15%  [ 3 ]
July 35%  35%  [ 7 ]
August 25%  25%  [ 5 ]
September 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
October or later 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 20

Future launch schedules: Rutan and Da Vinci 
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Space Walker
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Post Future launch schedules: Rutan and Da Vinci   Posted on: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:34 pm
Hi everyone,

With all the excitement over the last few days, I'm wondering what the flight schedule will be over the next few months. It seems that the Da Vinci team is planning to announce its X PRIZE launch date this month:

A date for his first flight is expected to be named later this month, possibly at a meeting of the open wheel Champ Car racing series in California. Champ Car recently signed up as presenting sponsor to the contest.
(from this article)

But Burt Rutan is also moving quickly:

Teams are required to notify the foundation about an impending X Prize attempt 60 days in advance. X Prize spokesman Ian Murphy told MSNBC.com that Scaled Composites is expected to reveal its schedule later this month during an event organized by the foundation. He said a possible venue for the announcement was next week's Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach, Calif... Murphy also cautioned that a public announcement wasn't necessarily tied to the 60-day window.
(from another article)

So how will it end up? There are quite a few possibilities:
1. Da Vinci's launch date will slip, no other contenders will step forward, and Rutan will win.
2. Rutan will make some more test flights, but Da Vinci will be able to win the X PRIZE since they made the 60-day announcement first.
3. A third team will announce a launch too, making it a three-way race.

Anyway, I'm really excited that the X PRIZE is nearing the climax, and that it is going to be a real competition!


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 11, 2004 1:32 am
personally i don't really think there's much competition actually. i'm sure that 3-5 teams will make it this year, but unless scaled deliberately prolongs their schedule, they will win hands down. they have to increase their burn by very little over the last flight's 40 second one to achieve the x-prize requirements. i still think it'll be until later in the summer that it'll be won, but we could potentially see it as early as june.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:37 am
Just a note, it's TWO fights to meet the x-prize requirements...not just one. For all the scenarios, don't discount the possibility of problems between flights.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:47 am
The law of murphy says a NONE xprize company will fire a manned vehicle above 100Km in a week or so :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: (just joking ;))

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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:23 pm
The Legionnaire wrote:
2. Rutan will make some more test flights, but Da Vinci will be able to win the X PRIZE since they made the 60-day announcement first.


Someone made an interesting point in another thread, why would the competitors to scaled let them know how close they are? It's fairly clear to everyone that scaled could make the x-prize flight whenever they want.

However they have to tell the x-prize organisation 60 days beforehand. Scaled would like to keep testing and developing their system, presumably that's why they've delayed this far.

However if Da Vinci or Armadilo quietly achieved their required targets, then they could let the x-prize org know quietly and then announce publicly three weeks beforehand. This essentially leaves Scaled guessing at when/if their competition may be ready to launch. Go the corporate espionage!

The thing to look for would be a team that had previously been quite open with their updates and their plans who have stopped updates in recent times. Of course this could just be because they're not making any steps forward.

For this reason, I believe Armadilo won't be involved in the competition, though I certainly wish them the best in the tourist market that follows the x-prize.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:51 am
Pete wrote:
However if Da Vinci or Armadilo quietly achieved their required targets, then they could let the x-prize org know quietly and then announce publicly three weeks beforehand. This essentially leaves Scaled guessing at when/if their competition may be ready to launch. Go the corporate espionage!

The thing to look for would be a team that had previously been quite open with their updates and their plans who have stopped updates in recent times. Of course this could just be because they're not making any steps forward.

For this reason, I believe Armadilo won't be involved in the competition, though I certainly wish them the best in the tourist market that follows the x-prize.


Actually I think that Armadillo could get away with continuing to update news posts about their 'big ship', which they've said they pretty much expect to total in a crash during testing, while at the same time be building up all the hardware they need for the bigger ship that will be capable of verticle landings on thrust instead of crushable nose cone. They've got the really big tank sitting in their shop along with a set of eight engines for it, which are in an unknown (to me anyway) state of completion. I think they've also mentioned that the launch license they're working on would cover either of the large vehicles.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:01 am
Okay thats wierd.

The Master team agreement as signed by the teams, states that the launch date must be set by the team and approved by the XPF at least 120 days beforehand. It is made public 60 days before launch.

It won't be approved without legal launch licenses and insurance etc... which would put Rutan at about 110 days out now...

Must have changed it... :/

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Post    Posted on: Tue Apr 13, 2004 10:37 pm
6. Entrants must specify and provide the X PRIZE Rules Committee with their take-off and landing location, and the date of their launch, not less than 30 days prior to any flight attempt.

from http://www.xprize.com/teams/guidelines.html

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