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Da Vinci Project Postpones X-Prize Attempt 109

Posted by michael
from the life-insurance-not-paid-up dept.
brainstyle writes "To some people this won't come as much of a shock: the Da Vinci Project's inaugural launch has been delayed. I'm a Canuck, so I'm rooting for these guys, but it always felt a bit iffy. The Canadian Arrow team seems to be doing things a bit more intelligently, so if any Canadian launch works, I'd bet on that one."
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Da Vinci Project Postpones X-Prize Attempt

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  • by rocjoe71 (545053) on Friday September 24, 2004 @05:40PM (#10344572) Homepage
    Since it's just as likely as not that a Canadian team won't win, what's to encourage these teams to carry on developing their space programs? With or without an X-Prize, it would still be worthwhile to have a space program we could call our own.
  • Canadian Arrow...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24, 2004 @05:47PM (#10344625)

    I'd never heard of the Canadian Arrow before it was mentioned on /. [slashdot.org] a while back. I can't find the answer on their webpage, so I'll ask if anyone knows: was the name "Canadian Arrow" chosen with the Canadian Avro Arrow [www.exn.ca] in mind?

    If so, that would be cool. If not, I hope it's a happy coincidence and not a prophetic one. Just don't let "US" steal the idea this time, guys.

    Free flatscreens. [tinyurl.com] Proof here. [freeipodguide.com]

  • by Zx-man (759966) on Friday September 24, 2004 @05:49PM (#10344647)
    ...although no one actually does. To the date the success of both of the projects are quite reasonably doubtable...
  • Re:Canuck ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smeenz (652345) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:03PM (#10344765) Homepage
    Yes.. the fruit is in fact called a kiwifruit, not a kiwi, in this country (NZ). For a short time it was even called a zespri in an desperate attempt by exporters to get some more dollars by using the letter z in a product name.

    And to make things every more confusing, it used to be called a chinese gooseberry, until they found it grew better here in NZ than it did in China.

  • by AndroidCat (229562) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:06PM (#10344782) Homepage
    Most of the X-Prize entries don't really lead directly to a "space program". The designs would have serious problems scaling up for orbital launches. (The X-Prize is an excellent showcase and proof-of-concept for the idea of cheap private launches with fast turn-around time.)

    However I'm sure all the designers have folders full of ideas for what they'd like to do next if there's more capital available. Sort of like Wernher Von Braun and his plans for trans-Atlantic bomb^w^w Moon-rockets and space-stations.

  • better links (Score:3, Interesting)

    by baldw1n (743697) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:15PM (#10344832) Homepage Journal
    John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace also said [google.com] some stuff [xprize.org] about DaVinci. He also wrote a pretty interesting summary [google.com] about his recent zero-gravity experience.
  • by maxpublic (450413) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:29PM (#10344921) Homepage
    I agree. If everyone built vehicles along the lines of Rutan's Spaceship One then less would be learned and the contest wouldn't be nearly as interesting. The wackier the designs the more intrigued I am, and the Da Vinci project strikes me as pretty wacky.

    Max
  • by iamlucky13 (795185) on Friday September 24, 2004 @09:56PM (#10345949)
    It's not fully scalable. I don't remember the specifics, but for whatever reasons, their hybrid engine begins to experience a rapidly diminishing thrust-to-weight ratio as it's scaled up. Also, the rocket is designed for sub-orbital flight at about 4000 mph (if I remember correctly), not the 16000 mph re-entry an orbital vehicle would undergo. A new design will be necessary to advance this program into orbital space flight.

    The mothership concept is definitely scalable. In fact, Scaled Composites just won a contract to use the White Knight as the lift vehicle for the X-43 drop tests. They showed that they could perform the task at a lower cost than the Air Force B-52 that is normally used.

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