Chair Force Engineer

Monday, October 10, 2005

X-Prize Cup (Part 4/4)

The DaVinci vehicle that Brian Feeney hopes to pilot into space in October 2006 or so. This is the real deal, not a mockup (except the engine nozzle.) The structure is carbon fiber, coated with a heat-resistant material.

The interior of the re-entry capsule, which is spherical like the old Vostok capsule.

Rocky Persaud. In addition to his work with Da Vinci, he has performed a tour on the Flashline Mars simulation station (FMARS) and served as president of Mars Society Canada.

That's Brian Feeney on the left side of the picture, next to Red M&M. If I had a little less self-control, I'd have bitten the guys in M&M suits. M&M was a sponsor, having been on board the space shuttle since the program took off in 1981.

A SpaceShipOne mockup. Although it got a lot of attention, I didn't see any reps from Virgin Galactic or The Spaceship Company to talk about it.

A mockup of Rocketplane Ltd's XP. Astronaut John Herrington's name is painted below the cockpit windows.

A clear view of the spacecraft's recently-redesigned empennage. Pitch and yaw control in the atmosphere now comes from a V-tail.

Henry from Rocketplane Ltd was happy to field questions. He confidently claimed a 2007 launch date that would beat SpaceShipTwo into the commercial arena.

The Canadian Arrow mockup was on display, complete with its mobile trailer / erector. The program is currently testing the escape system. Commercial launches will take place from a barge in the Atlantic ocean to avoid the liabilities of overflying the land.

Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, co-founder of PlanetSpace, is on the left side of the picture. In addition to his work with Canadian Arrow and PlanetSpace, he seeks the Lt. Governorship of Illinois in 2006.