September 25, 2004

Toronto's Da Vinci team delays launch

Canada's top contending Ansari X-Prize team, the Da Vinci project, has delayed their launch citing equipment deficiencies:
"It's very simple," [Brian] Feeney said in a telephone interview Friday morning. "We have some pieces of equipment that haven't arrived." Specifically, he said the da Vinci team needed a four-axis filament winder -- a device used in fabricating fiberglass and carbon-fiber parts -- to complete work on a key spaceship component.
Well, from what I understand, Feeney is not being entirely honest. A friend of mine close to X-Prize happenings recently told me that the Da Vinci project is all hype, and that any attempt to beat Rutan's SpaceShip One any time soon would be "suicide." They're simply not ready.

And besides, a rocket that brings back its passengers with a hard landing in the Canadian prairies is not viable space tourism venture to begin with.

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