Monday, August 09, 2004

X Prize Hopeful Goes Boom 

While the apparent frontrunner SpaceShipOne is still on schedule for its X Prize attempt in September, a competing team suffered a setback yesterday. Space Transport Corp.'s Rubicon 1 rocket was launched for a test flight with three dummies simulating the required human passengers, but exploded about 1,000 feet into its intended 20,000 foot altitude flight. In statements to the press, STC founders are projecting optimism that they will continue fundraising and rebuild the rocket. Their website page on Rubicon launch status, has no postings beyond Saturday's "good to go" announcement.

On another team front, da Vinci Project has scheduled their first flight attempt for October 2. Their ship is Wild Fire. While SpaceShipOne is carried aloft initially by an airplane, Wild Fire is to be lifted by a helium balloon to 80,000 feet before firing. da Vinci Project has also signed on as their title sponsor. Yes, the online casino that interrupts your websurfing constantly. Oh well, get the funding where you can, right?

Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:52 PM