Intends To Launch Its Rocket On October 2nd, 2004
The Canadian da Vinci
Project Team has notified the ANSARI X PRIZE of its intention to
launch its rocket on October 2nd, 2004, marking its official entry
in the international, commercially-funded space race
The da Vinci Project, which unveiled its rocket Wild Fire
(Thursday), joins one American team -- in a field of 26 -- to
announce its launch date. “With two ANSARI X PRIZE teams
launching within days of each other for the $10 million prize
(U.S.), we truly have a remarkable race for space,” said Dr.
Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE Foundation.
The recipient of the $10 million prize will be the first team to
travel safely to space twice within a two-week period on a
privately funded, re-useable spacecraft.
Brian Feeney, who plans to pilot Wild Fire approximately 85
kilometers into suborbital space, said the team is finalizing
construction of the rocket as well as logistical details related to
the event, which will be held in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.
"We’re very close to achieving our mission, thanks to the
organizations and individuals that understand the significance of
this race," said Feeney. "The da Vinci Project is on the cusp of a
new era of space travel for humankind. Our team is proof positive
that ingenuity and innovation can overcome the impossible."
In addition, Feeney
announced a new sponsor to finance the project. Golden Palace.Com,
the world’s largest online casino, has signed on as the title
sponsor. The Golden Palace.Com Space Program -- Powered By The da
Vinci Project -- is poised to make history.
According to sources at the casino, GoldenPalace.com is excited
and very proud to be a part of the historic flight of the Wild
Fire. In the continuing pursuit for innovative ideas for exposure,
Golden Palace sources believes the ANSARI X Prize competition
provides the advertising exposure as well as the added incentive of
a history-making event that will eventually serve to benefit all
The da Vinci Project, which Feeney describes as the largest
volunteer technology project in Canada, has achieved several
critical milestones since officially entering the competition in
1996. These milestones have included the filing of necessary papers
to Canadian government for launch approval; securing the site for
launch; the testing of engine components; testing the design and
securing a wide range of sponsors including Sun Microsystems of
Canada, Blake Cassels Graydon, ANSYS, Hinz Automation and
"The da Vinci Project is emblematic of the spirit of the ANSARI
X PRIZE," said Diamandis. "It brings together many of the best and
brightest to break down preconceived notions on space travel and
prove that we are no longer bound to one planet."
The X PRIXE Foundation is working with the Federation
Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the international body
responsible for all aviation and space world records, to ensure
that the ANSARI X PRIZE winner will also receive official
international recognition for his achievement. In addition to
duration, altitude and distance, the FAI has introduced new world
record categories for ‘minimum time between two consecutive
sub-orbital flights in a reusable vehicle’ and ‘number
of persons carried in sub-orbital flight’.
The da Vinci Project's aim of capturing the ANSARI X PRIZE, the
international "New Race to Space," is backed by a core of
volunteers from many walks of life and disciplines. Aerospace
engineers, experts in project management and finance contribute
their time and expertise towards the realization of the next step
in human discovery. The da Vinci Project's novel rocket design will
be launched from the world's largest reusable helium balloon at an
altitude of 80,000 feet (24,400 meters).