Ansari X Prize being claimed today!


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Seattle, WA

Within minutes it appeared to have topped its required altitude, according to unofficial reports. Radar confirmation of its peak altitude was expected shortly after landing.

A new pilot and potential astronaut, Brian Binnie, was chosen to fly the second flight into space in six days for SpaceShipOne, the rocket plane funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

The carrier plane took off from a desert runway and the plane was released in midair and fired its rocket to continue on its own to an altitude of just over 62 miles - generally considered to be the point where the Earth's atmosphere ends and space begins. if ((typeof tag336_2) == 'function') {tag336_2();} [font=Verdana,Sans-Serif][/font]If it succeeds, the backers will claim the Ansari X Prize, intended to spur private enterprise to develop rockets that could carry tourists into space. The $10 million award goes to the first privately built, manned rocket ship to fly in space twice in a span of two weeks.
I was expecting to see SpaceShipOne as the winner.

I'm a little disappointed as the Canadian team didn't manage to launch the first rocket as they promised. Another team disapponted is the Romanian one who succeed to launch their rocket last month. Anyway, they were very close and the fact the competition had 26 teams, say much about it

But, in every contest there is a winner only, and there is no doubt SpaceShipOne deserved the victory.

For those interested here you have the link where you can watch the live video from Mohave airport with the entire flight and interviews with the participants. As a special guest you can see the nephew of Lindberg. The quality of the video is not so good, but at least you can enjoy wonderful moments. Be ready for 3 hours watch ! ;)

Photo. After a successful Ansari X Prize winning flight, pilot and commercial astronaut Brian Binnie guides SpaceShipOne to a smooth landing while a chase plane looks on.


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I saw this on the niternet last night - went downstairs to see this ground-breaking news ehadline on the BBC 10 o'clock news - to see not a mention of it.

History has been made, but the BBC would rather cover the Tory Party conference??
Maybe they'll be more interested in a few years when Virgin Galactica will have a new type of rockets on the market and all those who dream about space will run to buy tickets.
Hot air, indeed.:D

A bit of trivia that absolutely fascinates me. Do you know what kind of fuel SpaceShipOne uses? Laughing gas and rubber. I just love that. Sounds like something out of a David Lynch film, doesn't it?
Incredible ! It's not over. Another millionaire, from Nevada this time, Robert Bigelow offers $50 million for the contest, America's Space Prize. This one seems to me more difficult to be won, as the new rocket has to fly higher than sub-orbit and to carry up to seven astronauts.

Robert Bigelow, chief of Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, is apparently setting higher goals for private spaceflight endeavors with
America's Space Prize, a $50 million race to build an orbital vehicle capable of carrying up to seven astronauts to an orbital outpost by the end of the decade, according to Aviation Week and Space Technology.

Bigelow told Aviation Week that not only would America's Space Prize winners secure the $50 million purse, half of which he's putting up himself, but they'd also snag options to service inflatable space habitats under development by Bigelow Aerospace.

If you are interested you can read more on :

Lol! So the guy is trying to enourage people to buy his stuff. :)
Oh, I'm very proud ! My Canadians, won't give up only for money !

Here you have the article from

A da Vinci Project Update for Canadian Town
By Tariq MalikStaff Writer
posted: 15 October 2004
Canadian rocketeers hoping to launch a privately built spacecraft from the small Saskatchewan town of Kindersley met with community officials Thursday, updating residents on the mission’s progress and reaffirming their intent to fly.

Dav1d [sic] Grossman, ground operations team leader for the Toronto-based Vinci Project, updated residents and officials near his team’s launch site this week while coordinating recovery and emergency plans for an anticipated suborbital launch two weeks overdue.

“Everybody here is still very enthusiastic,” Grossman said of Kindersley and its surrounding towns in a telephone interview. “We really need their participation.”

The da Vinci team, led by Toronto’s Brian Feeney, originally planned to launch its suborbital manned spacecraft Wild Fire Mark VI on Oct. 2, but the flight was put on an as-yet-indefinite hold.

“I would say that, just like they are, we are waiting for a new launch date,” Kindersley Town Administrator Kim Hauta said via telephone. “We had a fairly decent plan in place for Oct. 2, and some of those things won’t happen now due to the change.”

A cabaret and other community entertainment programs were time sensitive and could not be put on hold without a definite launch date, he added.

Feeney, who will pilot Wild Fire’s initial flight, has told his team remains determined to launch despite losing the $10 million Ansari X Prize suborbital spaceflight competition. That contest, which challenged teams to privately build a reusable, three-person suborbital spacecraft, was won on Oct. 4 in Mojave, California by Burt Rutan and his SpaceShipOne launch vehicle.

But Feeney has also said a final launch date won’t be announced until the da Vinci team has completely arrived in Kindersley, which is expected to be at least seven days before the intended space shot.

Under the current flight plan, an unmanned helium balloon will hoist Wild Fire into the Kindersley sky from the town’s local airport, carrying it into launch position at about 80,000 feet. There, the spacecraft’s tether will be released and its hybrid rocket engine ignited. The spacecraft and Feeney should experience a few minutes of weightless before reentering the atmosphere and parachuting back to Earth.

Two weeks after missing their first launch target, Grossman said plans are still coming together for what is hoped to be the first manned space launch in Canada but would not say if a specific date has been set. Over the last few days he has met with police and emergency services personnel from Kindersley, as well as from nearby Elrose – where Wild Fire is expected to land under its flight plan – to discuss ground and safety operations.

“We’ve got a man in the capsule,“ Grossman said. “We want to make sure Brian comes down safe and sound.”

Meanwhile, Kindersley officials were encouraged by Grossman’s arrival and presentations to both residents and city officials. On Oct. 14, Grossman gave the Kindersley Town Council a mission briefing and met with about 50 townspeople during a public meeting a night earlier.

Hauta said Grossman’s personal presence was a welcome sight for a town that has been eagerly awaiting the Wild Fire launch. The town has been given the nickname Cape Kindersley for the launch, and souvenir chairs and other goods are already available from local vendors.

“The only reservations we have is with the attendance level,” said Kindersley Mayor Michael Hankewich, adding the weather in Kindersley will only get colder and could limit spectator turnout. “But our hopes are high and we’re rooting for the launch and for [Feeney] too.”

“This is a big thing, not only for Kindersley but for Saskatchewan too,” Hankewich said.

A Vinci Project team member stands by during a test of the team's balloon launch system. The Canadian group is one of more than two dozen teams vying for the Ansari X Prize, and plans to launch a manned spaceflight in October 2004. Credit: da Vinci Project.


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It will definitely be a good thing to see multiple groups achieve the goal. :)