Fri, Jun 27, 2003
X PRIZE team Starchaser
Industries Ltd will conduct manned drop tests of its Nova rocket
capsule next month. The test is designed as a training and test of
the piloted landing system that is under development for
Starchaser's X PRIZE entry vehicle, the Thunderbird.
Scheduled for 21-25 July in Kingman, Arizona, USA, the capsule
will be dropped from a C-123K aircraft from an altitude of 14,000
feet. The main purpose of the tests is to ensure the parachute,
navigation, and landing systems function as planned.
The team officially
entered the $10,000,000 X-Prize competition in 1997 and has
recently been ranked joint #1 seed by Future Publishing's
'Frontiers' magazine. Starchaser Industries was incorporated as a
private limited company on 16th December 1998, its primary goal
being to win the X-Prize. Last year saw the flight of NOVA, which
completed all mission objectives before returning safely via
To win the X PRIZE, private teams must finance, build and fly a
three-person spacecraft 100 km (62 miles) to the edge of space,
return safely, and then demonstrate the reusability of their
vehicle by flying it again within two-weeks. A winner of the X
PRIZE is expected within the next 12-24 months.
The goal of the X PRIZE is to make space travel frequent and
affordable for the general public. More than 20 teams have entered
from 7 different countries.
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