Sun, Aug 15, 2004
Cabin crew dropped from
helo, floats safely into Lake Ontario
The Canadian Arrow team, one of two Canadian contenders out of a
worldwide 26 teams vying for the $10 million Ansari X-Prize, has
successfully completed a test run of their cabin crew.
The team dropped their test cabin crew from a helicopter at an
altitude of 2,400 meters. A few minutes later, the cabin
floated onto the waters of Lake Ontario. According to Geoff
Sheerin, team leader, the test results were better than planned.
"We had prepared for different things going wrong and we didn't
have to use any of those preparations," Sheerin said.
Divers swam out to the cabin once it touched down on the water
to recover it and its parachutes. The chutes will then be dried and
repacked within a period of two weeks to make sure the team can
meet the X-Prize requirement of a second launch within that
Sheerin said the
Canadian team's next test will simulate a mission abort after being
launched by a rocket. "If the astronauts were on top of the
booster, and there was a problem with that booster and they had to
leave immediately, if they were in danger, these rockets would pull
that crew cabin away," Sheerin explained.
The Canadian Arrow team has not announced a launch date for
their spacecraft, but the da Vinci Project has; they will launch
Wild Fire on October 2, just days from the date the Rutans are
scheduled to launch their first of two flights to claim the
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