Headlines > News > The Race is On! Da Vinci to Launch Oct. 2

The Race is On! Da Vinci to Launch Oct. 2

Published by Robin on Thu Aug 5, 2004 4:34 pm
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By Tariq Malik at Space.Com

TORONTO, Canada — A second team of rocketeers competing for the $10 million Ansari X Prize, a contest for privately funded suborbital space flight, has officially announced the first launch date for its manned rocket.

The da Vinci Project, led by Brian Feeney of Toronto, Ontario, said Thursday the group plans to loft its Wild Fire Mark VI spacecraft on Oct. 2, just days after the planned launch of another X Prize contender, the U.S-based SpaceShipOne. The balloon-launched Wild Fire event will be followed by a second launch within two weeks to snag the X Prize purse, according to the plan.

“We want to win the X Prize, we’ve got a very good shot of winning the X Prize, we are determined to win the X Prize,” Feeney said during today’s announcement at Wild Fire’s Downsview Airport hangar. “The most important thing is that we compete.”

Feeney’s announcement comes on the heels of a July 27 launch-timetable announcement by the backers of SpaceShipOne, a rocket ship built by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and his Mojave, California firm Scaled Composites. SpaceShipOne is slated to make its X Prize flights beginning on Sept. 29.

“Today is a historic day,” said Gregg Maryniak, executive director of the St. Louis, Missouri-based Ansari X Prize Foundation, during today’s press event. “When you have one space ship, you have a test flight, when you have two, you have a horse race.”

Continued at Space.com

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