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Red tape may delay rocket launch

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:38 am
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chabot imageby Darren Bernhardt: The Canadian government has not yet given its stamp of approval to the da Vinci Project’s rocket launch in Kindersley, putting the Oct. 2 liftoff in some jeopardy.

The launch team still has to purchase an insurance policy to cover potential injuries and property damage. In addition, a document indemnifying the Canadian government against launch damages must also be filed by the project team, which is led by Brian Feeney.

Lucie Vignola, a spokesperson with Transport Canada in Ottawa, said the agency won’t approve a launch licence until then. And even if the documents are filed soon, she could not guarantee the approval process will be completed by the intended launch date of Oct. 2.

“We’re not in this to try and delay anything. We’re working with Mr. Feeney,” she said. “But we have to make sure everything is copasetic. We’re not going to compromise the safety of the public or of property” by rushing the evaluation process.

Feeney, who will pilot the Wild Fire rocket into suborbital space, is not panicking.

“We will put the insurance into place very soon. No more comments will be made about it until it is done,” he said in an e-mail, noting the indemnification will be filed this week.

“We’ve been through the full evaluation already and know exactly where we stand. We jointly proceeded through the licensing evaluation process with a view to filing the insurance and indemnification docs as soon as we had the insurance in place.

“This private manned space flight is a first in Canada and only the second ever in the world. Both parties recognized that significance and the need to move the process forward.”
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