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Space Science

Canadian Arrow Completes Drop Test 142

Posted by michael
from the look-out-below,-eh dept.
hpulley writes "The Canadian press is reporting that X-Prize entrant the Canadian Arrow made its first successful crew compartment drop test on Saturday. It is essentially a modern version of the German V2 rocket. This test was just a drop of the crew compartment to test the parachutes. Next comes a launch abort test to see if the crew can be safely sent away from the vehicle. No word yet on when they might launch the consecutive flights in two-week turnaround for the prize. Fellow Canadian entrant the da Vinci Project will try to launch October 2nd. In the fall, venerable model company Estes Rockets will have a new model of the Canadian Arrow along with models of other entrants like the Rubicon." Oddly enough, I saw the crew compartment being driven around in Toronto on Saturday morning (towed behind a white pickup truck), but I didn't know what they were up to.
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Canadian Arrow Completes Drop Test

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  • Tintin? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Peden (753161) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:21PM (#9975602) Homepage
    Incredible how much that arrow looks like a smaller scale model of the rocket used in the comicbook about Tintin from the French cartoonist Hergé.
    • Re:Tintin? (Score:4, Informative)

      by mangu (126918) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:27PM (#9975633)
      As Hercule Poirot would say, Hergé was a Belgian.
    • Re:Tintin? (Score:4, Informative)

      by goon america (536413) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:37PM (#9975692) Homepage Journal
      ...which is because both the Canadian Arrow and the lunar rocket in Tintin were based on the V2.

      According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V2 [wikipedia.org]:
      The lunar rocket in Hergé's Tintin comic books Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon looks like a V-2, as do most science fiction rockets of the 1950's. What is unique about Hergé's book is that they also feature the chessboard test-pattern.
    • Re:Tintin? (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Rxke (644923)
      ... Belgian cartoonist, to be pedantic ;)
      • To be extremely pedantic, Hergé wrote in French; therefore he wrote French cartoons; therefore he was a French cartoonist.

        Ha!
        • hmmm... although completely off topic...
          As he was belgian, I'm quite sure he (and anyone outside of america) would not consider himself a French cartoonist.
          Just as a Quebecois cartoonist would not be a French cartoonist, or an American writing in english be an english one.
        • As a point of respect, I try to never accuse anyone of being French unless there is no other choice.
          Only a portion of the people living in france really deserve the label; people who are of the culture of Bretagne, Normandie, Provence, and the Mountain areas are actually at times decent human beings.

          If you are American, and not familiar with the differences, think of the difference between someone from Texas culture and someone from Indiana culture; which person are you MORE likely to want to beat to death
        • Nope French Cartoonist relates to the procedence of the author, not his/her works. If he was a cartoonist in French, then your half assed retort would have had some basis :)
    • Incredible how much that arrow looks like a smaller scale model of the rocket used in the comicbook about Tintin from the French cartoonist Hergé.

      But not altogether surprising. Science imitates art all the time, whether it's a fiction novel, movie, or even a comic. How many neat inventions have appeared in a Jules Verne story or an episode of "Star Trek" many years before they were ever built in real life? This is just one more case.
  • by aelbric (145391) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:24PM (#9975619)
    It is essentially a modern version of the German V2 rocket.

    Looks like London may not be safe yet. Someone call Tony Blair!

    By the way, I have German ancestry (first generation American). Don't get all riled up.
  • Enlighten me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FiReaNGeL (312636) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [l3gnaerif]> on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:26PM (#9975628) Homepage
    There's something I don't get with the X-prize craze...

    The 10 millions US$ seems like a major incentive to participate... but isn't the cost of such an endeavour much, much higher than that? Even more so when you consider the fact that the actual chance to win is not that high...
    • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Peden (753161)
      Yeah, but correct me if I am wrong... The people participating are doing it for a variety of other reason such as publicity, or just something to do in their spare time, with their spare money? John Carmack is said to use something like 60hours a week on Armadillo, and I doubt it that he is doing it to win 10million.
    • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:4, Informative)

      by aelbric (145391) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:30PM (#9975645)
      IMHO, I believe it's a combination of trying to get a jump in the emerging market of private space travel, trying to get one's name in the history books, and (hopefully) a great deal of the explorer spirit that appeals to more thoughtful people. This will need to be done, why not do it now while there's a little extra incentive?

    • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I know the Da Vinci project (Canadian team) had a budget around $5 million (CDN). So if they won they would stand to make a tidy sum.

      $10 million (USD) prize...
      Thats alot of Canadian pesos...

      Plus. I think if one of the companies really succeeded, a $10 million prize would be nothing compared to the potential cash revenue (they could put nasa out of business!)
      • they could put nasa out of business!

        How? Will it launch interplanatry probes? Will it launch bits of space stations? Will it launch people into orbit? (Yeah, OK nasa dont at the moment either, but they will again)

        Sub orbital flight is a long way from orbital flight.
    • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bwy (726112) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @05:53PM (#9976065)
      The goal of someone like Scaled Composites, IMHO, isn't to win the X-Prize but to develop a private space program concept that can potentially be sold to someone like Virgin who would start offering suborbital tourism flights.

      So, they've spent around $20 million US, and $10 mil is indeed half. If any company developing a new product could stand to get 1/2 of all of their expenses back by winning a contest, wouldn't that be icing on the cake?

      In fact, note that the rules of the X-Prize (2 flights, 3 passengers, etc) are meant to be things that would encourage a company to actually do something important with their technology AFTER winning the X-Prize. So it is an interesting setup. While the X-Prize isn't the sole driving force, it has definately been a "shot in the ass" to keep teams working hard. I think the expiration date on the X-Prize was an absolutely great idea too- because it is working! Just look how many teams are making a final drive right now. As long as nobody dies- and I tell you these da Vinci guys, if they are serious, scare the bejesus out of me.
    • If I recall correctly, Armadillo Aerospace has only spent about $1.5 million on their X-Prize craft. The only group which has spent more than $10 million is Scaled Composites.
      • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aallan (68633)

        Armadillo Aerospace has only spent about $1.5 million on their X-Prize craft. The only group which has spent more than $10 million is Scaled Composites...

        Which, barring a major upset, is probably who is going to win. I guess the old "You get what you pay for..." holds true to some extent.

        Al.
    • It's the challenge, not the prize, that drives the game. I once bet my QA team a six pack of fine Pilsener that our current SW release was totally bug-free. They took up the challenge, and 100 or so bug reports came out in the next week as opposed to the usual four or five I could get out of them. They sure showed me, didn't they? ;-) Darn, gosh, they won the bet. Best SW release we ever had, and it only cost me a few bucks worth of beer. My next pay rise sort of more than covered it, and it beat havin
  • by Viking5150 (97471) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:30PM (#9975648)
    The Canadian Arrow was named after the Avro Arrow, a revolutionary jet interceptor built in Canada in the 1950s during the height of the cold war. It was years ahead of any other jet interceptor design at the time.

    "A source of national pride, the Arrow incorporated advanced technical innovations and became a symbol of Canadian excellence.

    One of the finest achievements in Canadian aviation history, the delta wing Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was never allowed to fulfill its mission. The Arrow weapons platform along with the Iroquois engine was cancelled by the Conservative Diefenbaker government February 20, 1959, less then 3 weeks before the MK2 Arrow was to take flight."


    http://www.avroarrow.org/ [avroarrow.org]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why is this modded funny? The Avro Arrow was the most technologically advanced fighter plane of its time, it was cancelled to allow American dominance of the areospace industry. The F series of fighter planes never would have taken flight if the Arrow was manufactured.
      • As a Canadian, I'd love to agree with you, but sadly that isn't the case. The US had very little to do with the project, it was short-sighted Canadian politicians that ruined it for us. They felt it was costing too much to take care of the Arrow project, as well as complying with NORAD. It was felt that the age of the interceptor was over, and that guided missiles were, to use a cliche, the wave of the future.

        Obligatory WikiPedia Link [wikipedia.org]
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah, well you really do need to read between the lines on this one. Avro was a British company, so there were no problems with the UK gov't. In fact, a lot of the money came from England. There were plenty of potential orders from the European allies, so it wasn't a financial problem. The problem was squarely with the Americans, who felt threatened because their aircraft weren't even close to the Arrow.

          The US stopped the Arrow cold. The money was already spent, why cancel it two weeks before the test
      • I doubt that... There would have been a F series of fighter planes no matter what.
      • Rubbish. No-one other than the Americans and the Russians, neither of whom were going to buy a Canadian fighter, had operational requirements that would require the Arrow's capabilties. Well, perhaps Australia, but that's it. A horribly expensive fighter program, with basically no possibility of foreign sales - they'd have been mad *NOT* to scrap it! The British didn't have the resources for such follies (see TSR.2), and the Canadian gov't most certainly didn't.

        It wouldn't have made it out of the early
        • The TSR-1 & TSR-2 were not really follies.
          They were - like the Avro Arrow, technologically advanced aircraft, which unfortunately was not able to be properly developed with the funding from one country alone.

          What they should have done was had a number of Commonwealth countries pool their resources to develop a single aircraft.

          Aircraft these days aren't built by single countries - even the JSF (F35) is being developed and built by an international consortium - they should have started this practice in
    • No it's not! It's a typo--It's supposed to be named after the Nestlé Aero Chunky Chocolate Bar [sickkids.on.ca] because the bubbly contruction, but there was a spelling mistake and then the sponsorship fell through, and...

      You're not buying this, are you? *poot*!

    • The Canadian Arrow was named after the Avro Arrow, a revolutionary jet interceptor built in Canada in the 1950s during the height of the cold war. It was years ahead of any other jet interceptor design at the time.

      And most of it's reputation is built on misty eyed nostalgia and assumptions. When the program was cancelled, the fire control system (the heart of an interceptor) was not yet ready. The equivalent system on the American side took over a decade to reach reasonable reliability. The missile it

  • Woot for canada (Score:5, Interesting)

    by g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:33PM (#9975669) Homepage Journal
    Seeing as I haven't heard much news on any non-Canadian teams other then spaceshipone, this is awesome for Canada. We're going to be the first to make an official launch, and we now possibly have a second on the go. As things get closer to October (Canadian team launches on the 2nd, Americans on the 4th) this whole X-Prize thing is starting to get really interesting. Its pretty hard to predict how things will turn out right now, but it's definitely going to get very exciting.

    On another note, I only live about 4 hours from where the first Canadian team is launching, so I'm going to get to experience that.

    • Re:Woot for canada (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Uhhh, isn't Scaled launching Sept. 29?

      http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/index.htm [scaled.com]
      • Re:Woot for canada (Score:2, Informative)

        by aelbric (145391)
        Sorry, greatest respect for the Canadian team, but my money is on SpaceShipOne, literally. Bought stock in SpaceDev when they announced the engine contract for SS1. Pretty cool technology too, essentially, the SS1 engines burn a combination of rubber and nitrous oxide as fuel. Very safe and non-polluting from what I understand. Also capable of stopping and restarting after initial ignition. Can't do that with a solid fuel booster.

        Hmmmm...maybe they should declare that they own the IP for Linux to pump
      • errr...my bad. article here [space.com]
    • We're going to be the first to make an official launch

      No, some individuals living within the same political borders as yourself could potentially be the first to do it. I don't see what you, me, or any other Canadian not working on any of these projects is doing to make them part of the "we." I think its time we stopped the nationalist bs. Do you honestly think it's only ugly when Americans do it?

      On a related note, I think it would be quite ironic if Canadian citizens did win the X Prize seeing as
      • Wow, thanks for the kind response. I didn't realize it was such a horrible thing to be proud that I might get within walking distance of one of the first private spacecraft, let alone be proud that it was created by people who I have something in common with.

        I voted liberal.

      • I think it would be quite ironic if Canadian citizens did win the X Prize seeing as the Canadian government and most Canadians (they keep voting for those guys) seem to detest private industry and much prefer government dominance.

        So which country could win without a trace of irony? Do you know of one that doesn't prefer government dominance of the space industry?

        Actually Canada is near the top of the list, since our space industry is largely commercial and profit-driven, with half of our revenues deri

  • Arrows (Score:2, Funny)

    by synthparadox (770735)
    I thought arrows are supposed to be launched from a bow. I demand a refund! This arrow doesn't launch from a bow, and part of it breaks off and floats down... 0.o
  • by jqs (67745) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:43PM (#9975719) Homepage Journal
    My wife and I got up early, biked down to the islands and took the ferry over. We had a perfect vantage point as the crew compartment came down approximately a kilometre from us offshore. We were even closer to it than the emergency crews that were on hand in case it landed on the island (and you didn't see the slow moving object on parachutes coming at you...).
  • by bob65 (590395) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @04:43PM (#9975721)
    Interesting name, perhaps a bit nostalgic?
  • "The rockets go up and the rockets come down
    Where they land it ain't my fault, says Wernher von Braun".

    Before you mark this off-topic, note the "based on the V2" reference.

  • by stienman (51024) <adavisNO@SPAMubasics.com> on Sunday August 15, 2004 @05:01PM (#9975820) Homepage Journal
    Are you sure they're Candian? The entire website is in Feet/Miles/Inches! Not a meter in sight!

    I dunno. Sounds like we have a couple of american defectors doing the work up there... Time to bring those traiters back. ;-)

    -Adam
    • by Blastrogath (579992) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @06:58PM (#9976400)
      First, Canadian imperial mesurements are mostly but not allways the same as american "standard" mesurements. The gallon for example is a different size. I think there's no difference in the feet/miles/inches department though.

      Speaking as a canadian, I use imperial as much as metric on a daily basis. Metric is used for weights and volumes, but not the weights of people. I don't know my height in metres and houses are built all in imperial but our highway speeds and distances are in Km. Metres are actually not in as common use as feet.

      It's probably at least as easy for most canadians to understand something's height etc. in feet as in metres. If you're going to list some stats in imperial you may as well list them all that way, to be consistant.
  • Old technology (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheUncleBob (791234) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @05:02PM (#9975828) Homepage
    It seems strange that they are using 60 year old rocket design, and a pod that looks oddly like spaceship one's pod (All those black dots/windows)

    I thought the x-prize would push innovation forward, not recycling (or has the patent on v2 rockets recently expired) . Otherwise couldn't we have done this 50 years ago?
    • Re:Old technology (Score:4, Insightful)

      by julesh (229690) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @05:26PM (#9975929)
      I thought the x-prize would push innovation forward, not recycling (or has the patent on v2 rockets recently expired) . Otherwise couldn't we have done this 50 years ago?

      Given that the X prize is for private industry reproducing results that were first achieved about 50 years ago, I don't see it as surprising that they're recycling 50 year old technology. The point is, though, that it's a lot cheaper for these guys to do it now than it was then, because of improvements in other areas of technology (largely materials and manufacturing processes).

      Also, note that the X prize vehicle must be reusable (2 launch requirement), which none of the technology of the 50s was, so they have to make some improvements.
    • (All those black dots/windows)

      Well...yeah. Those windows are the same shape on both craft because that shape is quite strong. You don't have corners to concentrate stress--and those viewports are going to be experiencing some stress.

      Both craft are dotted with them because a) you want the crew and cameras to be able to see lots of stuff, and b) it's easier to make several small windows without defects than it is to make one big wraparound window.

      I'd say the resemblance between the two craft is super

    • It seems strange that they are using 60 year old rocket design, and a pod that looks oddly like spaceship one's pod (All those black dots/windows)

      Why is it strange they are using proven aerodynamics? (Also they are emphatically not using a 60 year old design. Despite the surface resemblence to a V-2, everything underneath the skin is completely different.) Very few industries outside of consumer goods push innovation for the sake of innovation.

      I thought the x-prize would push innovation forward, not r

    • I thought the x-prize would push innovation forward, not recycling

      Where would Linux and *BSD be today with if this train of thought dominated? Modernizing old technology can be quite innovative, and cheaper to boot since alot of the R&D has been done already. Look at the automotive industry, 100 years of recycling, yet now we have DOHC, VTEC, AWD, Anti-lock breaks etc... Other examples : Cathode ray tubes, modems, mice and keyboards. Rifles. All have seen vast improvements over the course of their lif

    • Why do modern airplanes still have 2 wings, sheesh...they had 2 wings over 60 years ago! Whatever are they thinking!

      Hmm, that gets me thinking, just why the heck do birds still have 2 wings, what an old design...many million year old technology...what a waste!

      (Hint: You're looking in the wrong place for the innovation, and I assure you it's all over these projects)
  • O.o; (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eudial (590661) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @05:13PM (#9975880)
    A manned cruise missile.

    Well, there ought to be a first time for everything.
    • Re:O.o; (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not the first time... The Japenese built manned cruise missles in WW2.

    • Several countries used manned torpedos... Most Japanese versions had no way for the poilet to get out.
    • No no, this would be a manned ballistic missile. Manned cruise missiles (the ones that follow the surface of the earth) were already developed and perfected by the Japanese in the 1940's.
  • Weak! (Score:2, Funny)

    by flithm (756019)
    As a proud Canadian citizen I am truly embarassed by the Canadian Arrow. It most certainly does not live up to the Avro Arrow, which was ingenious and revolutionary in every sense of the words.

    Multi-stage space vehicles are so 1970s! Come on guys! Let's see some true innovation coming from Canada. Maybe, the Canada Super Arm, which would simply pick people up and put them directly into orbit. Or how about, the Canadian Slap Shot Ship, a large black single stage saucer like device launched via contac
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >In the fall, venerable model company Estes Rockets will have...

    When I read that, for a second my mind finished the sentence as, "...Estes Rockets will have its own X-prize entrant!"

    Ah yes, I can just see it. Say, 20 stages, each with a cluster of 400 D12-0 engines. Better reinforce those balsa fins with some epoxy fillets, though. I don't think Elmer's Wood Glue is rated for supersonic applications.

  • by Basehart (633304) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @07:47PM (#9976639)
    "Oddly enough, I saw the crew compartment being driven around in Toronto on Saturday morning (towed behind a white pickup truck)"

    Those were the low velocity sex tests. Watch out for the crew compartment being sent over the Niagara Falls for the more advanced Sex in Space tests.
  • we bombed the German V2 website out of existence...
    • From v2rocket.c om

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