Headlines > News > Go For Launch! X PRIZE Foundation Announces Teams Ready to Compete for $10 Million

Go For Launch! X PRIZE Foundation Announces Teams Ready to Compete for $10 Million

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Jul 27, 2004 3:07 pm
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chabot imageThe American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team announces launch dates for SpaceShipOne and the Canadian da Vinci Project Team announces roll-out date for their completed spaceship.

The X PRIZE Foundation announced key next steps today by two of its top competitors for the ANSARI X PRIZE. The American Mojave Aerospace Ventures, LLC Team (a partnership between Paul G. Allen and Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites) announced today that it has given its official 60-day notice and has scheduled its first competition flight on September 29th, 2004, at the Mojave Airport Civilian Aerospace Test Center in Mojave, California. To win the $10 million, SpaceShipOne will need to make a second flight within two weeks, by October 13th, 2004.

In addition, the Canadian da Vinci Project Team, based in Toronto, Canada, announced its plans to roll-out its completed Wild Fire spacecraft for public viewing and photo opportunities on Thursday, Aug 5th, 2004, at its Downsview Airport hanger in Toronto. The da Vinci Project Team, widely heralded as a contender for the $10 million, will pursue its own ANSARI X PRIZE space flight attempts this Fall.

Also introduced to supporters and press was Amir Ansari, representing the Ansari family, the benefactors who titled the ANSARI X PRIZE, and Astronaut Rick Searfoss, the Chief Judge of the competition. The announcements took place at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport in Santa Monica, California, at 10:30 am PST.

Eight years ago, under the Arch in St. Louis, we kicked off the X PRIZE competition. Today I’m pleased to announce that the first team is ready to make an attempt to claim the $10 million, with other teams close behind, said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE Foundation. The American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team and the Canadian da Vinci Project Team are just two of the 26 competing groups who will someday make it possible for spaceflights to be conducted from commercial spaceports across the globe. When the ANSARI X PRIZE competition is won, it will herald the start of a new renaissance of spaceflight in which the general public will have their chance to fly next.

If successful, Mojave Aerospace Ventures will make history by launching a privately financed, manned spaceship to 100 km altitude, twice within two weeks, each carrying a pilot and the weight and volume equivalent of two additional passengers. On June 21st, Mike Melvill, a pilot for Mojave Aerospace Ventures, became the first pilot to enter suborbital space, earning astronaut wings and a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Similar to the June flight, the competition launches will take place at the Mojave Airport Civilian Aerospace Test Center in Mojave, California. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the historic events. Parking passes for public attendance can be purchased on the X PRIZE website (www.xprize.org).

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