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Former X Prize Rivals Announce Partnership

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:47 pm
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Two former rocketeer rivals are teaming up to develop privately-built spacecraft, officials with both groups said Friday.

Canada’s London, Ontario-based firm PlanetSpace and the Romanian aerospace company ARCA – both past competitors in the $10 million Ansari X Prize contest for suborbital spaceflight – are pooling their expertise or a joint space project.

While some details of the partnership remain under wraps, the collaboration will likely include the sharing of technology and other resources, PlanetSpace officials said.

“We both have capabilities to bring to each other,” PlanetSpace president and CEO Geoff Sheerin told SPACE.com. “It’s a good fit to test out some concepts and ideas.”

Sheerin entered the Ansari X Prize with plans for a V2 rocket-derived, reusable manned spacecraft dubbed the Canadian Arrow. ARCA – short for Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association – also cast its Orizont vehicle in the manned suborbital contest with plans for a reusable rocket engine built from composite materials.

Mojave, California-based aerospace and aviation veteran Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne vehicle won the $10 million prize in October 2004.

“By joining forces with one of the leaders in private space exploration, we are certain that we will succeed in creating a reliable and efficient technology, as well as other exciting spaceflight projects,” said ARCA president Dumitru Popescu in a statement.

Read more at Space.com

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