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da Vinci delays launch attempt to January
Posted: Sat, Nov 27, 2004, 9:17 AM ET (1417 GMT)
Wild Fire suborbital RLV illustration (da Vinci Project) The da Vinci Project, which had been one of the leading contenders for the Ansari X Prize, has pushed back a launch attempt of its suborbital spacecraft to January, according to Canadian news reports. The delay in the launch is because of a lack of available volunteer labor during the upcoming Christmas holiday season. Earlier this month da Vinci team leader Brian Feeney said that the project was planning an unmanned test flight of its Wild Fire Mk 6 vehicle in the third week of December, followed shortly thereafter by a second flight with Feeney on board. The project was once a frontrunner for the X Prize and had planned a launch on October 2 from Kindersley, Saskatchewan, but delayed the launch because of difficulties receiving components; SpaceShipOne then won the prize with two flights on September 29 and October 4. Unlike SpaceShipOne, the da Vinci team has relied primarily on donations and volunteer labor, as well as sponsorship from an online casino.
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