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Da Vinci Project Postpones X-Prize Attempt 109

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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  • Whats missing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by satterth ( 464480 ) on Friday September 24, 2004 @05:48PM (#10344640) Homepage Journal
    Contributing factors to this revision were availability of a few key components and their integration into the overall space flight program.
    I wonder what if anything is not available. Too bad, and i was even planning on driving out and watching the launch.
  • by Nos. ( 179609 ) <andrew.thekerrs@ca> on Friday September 24, 2004 @05:53PM (#10344678) Homepage
    Not only that, but I think private industry is watching all the top contenders pretty seriously. I'm sure companies like Boeing and Airbus are watching this and dreaming of selling tickets to orbit the Earth a few times.
  • by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:04PM (#10344769) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for concept stuff to make an achievement, but which one, if offered to you, would you fly in; the da Vinci rocket, or Rutan's SpaceShipOne?

    The Tier One system is by far the more aircraft-like of the two, has many abort modes that offer you some level of safety in a still-dangerous adventure, and appears to have plenty of money to ensure the design is not contrived.

    IANARS, but it also appears that the Tier One design is highly scalable. Just make a large enough plane that can achieve a high altitude that can carry a large enough orbiter and fuel, and this thing can become a new LEO personnel or unmanned shuttle, or the much-lamented spaceplane.

    At the least, quite a few of us would pay a few thousand to ride the thing like a rollercoaster to get our astronaut wings, experience weightlessness, and see the Earth in a way few of us have ever seen it.

    But using a balloon and a cylinder? Hm.
  • by Buran ( 150348 ) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:20PM (#10344874)
    And did we quit crossing the Atlantic because Lindbergh won the Orteig prize and no money was left?


    This isn't going away either.
  • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:24PM (#10344886) Journal
    But using a balloon and a cylinder? Hm.

    Garage rocket scientists, perhaps? I'm not saying that their design is scaleable or good - just that sometimes, ordinary people tinkering around such stuff may lead to greater revolutions in science than a high-profile well known project.

    Why? Because they are willing to take the risk. Their loss isn't as much as that of someone whose invested significantly more.

    Their design may not be good or scaleable, but it might open up avenues in other areas we would not know about unless we tried it. That's the best part about engineering these things - you do not really know what's going to happen.

    But that's just me.
  • by kormoc ( 122955 ) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:40PM (#10344985)
    Tho most of the population back then wanted to be able to cross the atlantic themselves. I'd venture to say most people now a days is rather apathic about space at best. There are lots who are down right hostle towards space flight. It's not quite the same..
  • by Buran ( 150348 ) on Friday September 24, 2004 @06:56PM (#10345121)
    I know a lot of people who are apathetic about air travel, or scared of it (and won't listen when I explain that cars are far more dangerous, yet they have cars!) ... and yet we still have aviation.

    It doesn't matter if there are disinterested people as long as there are enough interested people.

The other line moves faster.