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American SpaceShipOne team flies to 105,000 feet at Mach 1.6
Hot on the heels of receiving it's FAA license, the American SpaceShipOne team had a rocket-powered flight April 8, reaching an altitude of 105,000 ft. Behind the controls of SpaceShipOne's second successful powered flight was pilot and future astronaut, Peter Siebold. The engine burned for 40 seconds and reached a speed of approximately Mach 1.6, making it the first privately built space vehicle to accomplish this feat. "105,000 feet down, 223,000 feet to go!" exclaimed an excited onlooker, as he watched the ship fly overhead.

Launch conditions were 45,600 feet and 125knots. A planned immediate motor ignition was delayed about 2 minutes to evaluate a shock induced stall buffet resulting in an ignition altitude of only 38,300 feet. The 40 second rocket boost was smooth with good control. Pilot commented that the motor was surprisingly quiet; however the boost was heard by ground observers. Burnout occurred at 1.6M and apogee was over 105,000 feet. There was no noted flight control flutter or buzz during the climb. Feather recovery was nominal. Maximum feathered speed on entry was 0.9 Mach. The wing was de-feathered and locked by 40,000 feet. Handling quality assessments during descent were satisfactory and a smooth landing made to runway 30 at Mojave. All video and tracking systems performed well with spectacular footage obtained onboard, from chase and from ground stations.
X PRIZE Teams Progress with Launch Licenses
Early this month, the Federal Aviation Administration's office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) granted a launch license to Scaled Composites, allowing Rutan's group to continue expanding the powered flight testing of SpaceShipOne. This is the first such license granted by FAA/AST in the US, although the FAA/AST noted it had other applications in process. FAA/AST does not oversee or license launches made by or for U.S. governmental agencies, nor does it require licensing for rocket-powered flight of less than 15 second burn duration.

Brian Feeney, of the da Vinci Project, indicated that his X PRIZE Team's launch license under the Canadian CLSO, their AST-equivalent governmental launch office, is anticipated soon. da Vinci has completed its required application process and is well into the task of coordinating ground and air operations for their launches at Kindersley, the Saskatchewan site chosen for Canada's first manned space launch.

In related news, XCOR Aerospace announced at the Space Access conference in Phoenix, Arizona this month that it received a Reusable Launch Vehicle mission license from the FAA/AST, the second such license granted by that agency. While the propulsion experts at XCOR are not yet building an X PRIZE vehicle, they are planning to participate in the follow-on X PRIZE CUP.
X PRIZE Hosts Team Summit Meeting in Los Angeles
Representatives from X PRIZE teams converged in Los Angeles on April 16th for a two-day "Summit" Meeting hosted by X PRIZE Foundation. Covered during the meetings were exchanges between Leaders (via presentations to the assembled group) describing progress by the respective Teams, as well as any number of updates on works in progress at the X PRIZE Foundation. In addition, the group brainstormed on the continuing development of the X PRIZE Cup, the planned series of yearly competitions in a venue to be decided between the two finalist States, Florida and New Mexico.

After the Summit concluded, attendees were treated to the excitement of grandstand seats across from the pits, near the finish line, to watch the Long Beach Grand Prix, the season opener for X PRIZE's presenting sponsor Champ Car World Series Racing.

Pictured left to right: Dumitru Popescu, ARCA, Romania; Pablo DeLeon, DeLeon, Argentina; Oded Loebl, ILAT, Isreal; Eric Meier, Space Transport, USA; Steve Bennett, Starchaser, UK; Burt Rutan, Scaled Composites, USA; Randa Milliron, Interorbital Systems, USA, Chuck Lauer, Rocketplane LTD, USA; Brian Feeney, daVinci Project, Canada; Neil Milburn, Armadillo, USA, Tim Pickens, HARC, USA; Lori Sheerin, Canadian Arrow, Canada
Canadian Arrow X PRIZE Vehicle Makes Grand Showing at CHAMP CAR Grand Prix Expo, April 16-18

In coordination with the X PRIZE Presenting Sponsor, Champ Car World Series, X PRIZE participated in the Champ Car Long Beach Grand Prix. An estimated 75,000 viewers had a chance to appreciate the size and design features of the 54' long Canadian Arrow full-scale mockup as it was on display in Long Beach last weekend during Champ Car's Grand Prix Race event. Race-goers and exhibitors alike were both inquisitive and complimentary of the X PRIZE/ Canadian Arrow presentation, and volunteers from both the Team and the XP Foundation were on hand to answer questions and promote the X PRIZE Space Race.

Lori Sheerin and Lou van Amelsvoort, of Canadian Arrow, drove over 3000km with their rocket ship in tow, generating comments and gawks along the way. US Customs good-naturedly insisted on processing the rocket through their "WMD Screening" upon crossing the US border. The Canadian Arrow later turned heads parading up and down the "Strip" in Las Vegas, after which they were shown on one of the local morning TV shows.
Kevin N. Kalkhoven Joins X PRIZE Board of Trustees
X PRIZE is pleased to announce that Kevin N. Kalkhoven, co-owner of Champ Car World Series has joined the X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees. Kalkhoven joined Uniphase Corporation in 1992 as President, CEO and Chairman. During his tenure, the market cap of the company grew from $35 million to $100 billion. Mr. Kalkhoven retired from JDS Uniphase in May 2000 and co-founded the venture firm in August 2000. Mr. Kalkhoven currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Optium Corporation and is a board member of AMCC.
Roddenberry Joins X PRIZE Advisory Committee
X PRIZE is pleased to welcome Eugene W. Roddenberry, Jr. as its newest member of the X PRIZE Advisory Committee. He is the son of legendary science-fiction creator, Gene Roddenberry, whose television series "Star Trek" and "Earth: Final Conflict" changed the face of television. Eugene Roddenberry shares his father's passionate views on the world and humanity and has joined the X PRIZE team because, in his words, "the X PRIZE represents the vision and spirit of exploration embodied in Star Trek."
The mission of the non-profit X PRIZE Foundation is to create a future in which the general public will personally participate in space travel and its benefits. But all of this requires an investment. Be a part of history. Give to the X PRIZE.
CLICK HERE to Become a General Member for the low cost of $20
CLICK HERE to Become a Senior Associate.
CLICK HERE to help the X PRIZE via a secure donation to PayPal!


The Canadian da Vinci Project is pressing forward with the building and testing of its X PRIZE entry "Wild Fire MK VI" vehicle. Recent activities include sub-assembly installations inside the capsule. The project's flight simulator became operational about six months ago, and da Vinci is in the process of adding refinements to the trendicators that will aid in determining role, pitch and yaw rates, as well as to the pilot's flat screen display.

The Global Star satellite network is being used on the Wild Fire vehicle as the primary tracking data and audio link to the spacecraft and balloon. The tracking data shows up on a moving map display based on precise airborne GPS and INS equipment. Mission control receives the primary feed from the network's hub while mobile satellite receivers used by ground recovery teams have a direct tie into portable PC's. The result is real-time tracking in remote locations, ensuring that the recovery teams are directed to the spacecraft hardware as soon as it lands. Global Star satellite transmitters and receivers are undergoing system bench testing at the da Vinci facility in Toronto prior to installation in the spacecraft.
Starchaser Industries has teamed up with British marketing consultants Freerange Design Ltd in a bid to raise Starchaser's profile and attract further sponsorship funding. The new marketing strategy involves a tour campaign where Starchaser's record-breaking "Nova" rocket is transported and displayed to potential sponsors, courtesy of a partnership with Royal Mail Special Delivery.

The Royal Mail has been doing a sterling job, taking Nova across the length and breadth of the UK--sometimes to awkward or almost inaccessible places. Certainly the most notable visit was to London, where Nova was photograpphed beside the London Eye and on Westminster Bridge in front of Big Ben. Nova is the largest rocket ever launched from UK, where it flew the planned profile to over 5000' and was successfully recovered from its water landing.

Freerange Design is also helping to rebrand Starchaser as the company moves towards relaunch as a Public Limited Company. As a PLC, Starchaser will be set up to offer shares for sale to the general public.
The Argentine X PRIZE team of De Leon and Associates reports progress in its work towards a new flight test, having started in the final design of the capsule cockpit. Building of a flight vehicle/capsule is anticipated to begin shortly; at present several ergonomic studies are underway to determine how best to acommodate three persons in the spacecraft (as required by X PRIZE contest rules).

Testing of the thermal protection system has already been achieved succesfully, shown here in the thermal plot.
The Washington-based team of Space Transport Corporation (STC) reports that the main solid propellant engine for its X PRIZE entry, "Rubicon", has passed development tests. The picture below shows the 10-foot-tall engine during its recent 12,000-pound-thrust static test. This engine will be one of several clustered on Rubicon to provide to total thrust needed to attain X PRIZE altitude.

Construction and launch planning are in progress for the upcoming Rubicon test flight to 20,000 feet, which STC expects to conduct in June. Several unmanned flights to 100 kilometers are expected to take place in the summer months once launch licensing is complete. Manned flights are slated for the fall.

In addition, STC is planning a subscale rocket flight for late April. Plans are for this flight to include cameras to capture video from space altitude.
After successfully testing its 57,000-pound thrust engine, the Canadian Arrow team is now developing the equipment needed for landing its X PRIZE vehicle. "We are now working on our recovery equipment since the main engine is finished and operating," said team leader Geoff Sheerin to journalist Leonard David of "We just performed some successful drop tests of the crew cabin to measure water impact deceleration."
In April, Armadillo Aerospace began a series of tests on its X PRIZE prototype vehicle, testing the vehicle's ability to ignite its multiple engines and hover several feet off the ground. According to team leader John Carmack, "Post test inspection showed that all of the vehicle insulation held up well, with no signs of any heat damage. All of the electronics stayed operational through everything, and all of our ground systems behaved as expected." Armadillo is also developing a new testbed vehicle that controls its attitude using jet vanes. Carmack says "the jet vane vehicle is almost ready to fly… I am really looking forward to flying this and contrasting the issues with the differentially throttled vehicle."
The Romanian X PRIZE team ARCA has successfully test-fired its hydrogen peroxide engine. According to ARCA, "the system tested on April 1-3 is the world's first reusable monopropellant propulsion system integrally constructed from composite materials. Also, this is the most powerful Romanian liquid fuel engine ever constructed." Although the initial test was only at 35% of the maximum possible thrust, "at the end of April the system will be tested at full-specified thrust and time," according to Team Leader Dumitru Popescu.
Israeli X PRIZE competitors Il Aerospace Technologies (ILAT) announced that their space tourism business plan has reached the finals at the annual Wharton Business Plan Competition (WBPC). "We are extremely pleased to have reached this stage of the competition," said Dov Chartarifsky, ILAT Founder and CEO. "This is the first time in the history of the WBPC that space tourism is examined as a viable business venture. This is an enormous step towards the realization of the space tourism industry."

As one of the "Great Eight" WBPC finalists, ILAT presented its space tourism business model before a panel of judges and an audience of over 200 venture capitalists, investment bankers, angel investors, attorneys, Wharton alumni and business community leaders. The event was held at the 2004 Venture Fair on April 26, 2004 at the University of Pennsylvania.
The mission of the non-profit X PRIZE Foundation is to create a future in which the general public will personally participate in space travel and its benefits. But all of this requires an investment. Be a part of history. Give to the X PRIZE.
CLICK HERE to Become a General Member for the low cost of $20
CLICK HERE to Become a Senior Associate.
CLICK HERE to help the X PRIZE via a secure donation to PayPal!


David Knight Joins X PRIZE Team as VP, Business Development
Technology executive David Knight has joined the X PRIZE team as Vice President, Business Development. With a long history of building fast-growth startup companies in communications, software and media, David now brings his skills and experience to bear on core activities for the X PRIZE Foundation, including fundraising. His key responsibilities will be to develop key partnerships and to generate monies from new sources, such as the X PRIZE Auction and Merchandise programs. David also plans to spearhead the X PRIZE VIP Hospitality program, giving corporations the opportunity to bring their top executives and customers to exciting X PRIXE activities, including launch-attempts.
CarryOn Communications Hired to head PR for XP
X PRIZE is pleased to announce that it has hired CarryOn Communications to coordinate the competition public relations and outreach. Sarah Evans, VP of CarryOn will head the PR effort. CarryOn will work directly with Ian Murphy of Federal City Communications. Federal City has been heading X PRIZE's PR efforts during the past five year period.
DeepBlu Studios hired to run live web
X PRIZE is pleased to welcome Amye Osti, CEO of DeepBlu Studios to our team. DeepBlu Studios is an expert in live webcast events, having produced the Sundance Online Film Festival. DeepBlu Studios will work with Dave Fletcher and the team from themechanism, LLC and with Dan Rayburn and Jack Bader to implement the live launch web casts.
Matthew Isakowitz volunteers his time on X PRIZE website
Matthew Isakowitz is a junior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. His father's career at NASA first inspired Matthew's interest in space travel. Matthew enjoys volunteering for the X PRIZE due to his firm belief in the value of opening space travel to everyone, from entrepreneurs to thrill-seekers to average Americans. Thank you, Matthew for all your efforts!

Best Wishes!

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis

Mr. Gregg E. Maryniak
Executive Director

Mr. David Treinis
Executive Vice President for Team Relations

Angel Panlasigui
Newsletter Editor

The mission of the non-profit X PRIZE Foundation is to create a future in which the general public will personally participate in space travel and its benefits. But all of this requires an investment. Be a part of history. Give to the X PRIZE.
CLICK HERE to Become a General Member for the low cost of $20
CLICK HERE to Become a Senior Associate.
CLICK HERE to help the X PRIZE via a secure donation to PayPal!

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