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Fri, May 30, 2003

da Vinci Project Discloses Xprize Launch Location

"This Is About Showing The World That There Is More To Canada Than A Great Beer Commercial"

The da Vinci Project has named the site for its upcoming XPRIZE launch attempts. At a recent press conference held at the Saskatchewan Science Center in Regina, Brian Feeney, leader of The da Vinci Project's XPRIZE team, announced that the project will launch its XPRIZE vehicle from Kindersley, 200 kilometers west of Saskatoon.

“This project is another example of mankind pushing the envelope, and at the same time, putting Canada and Saskatchewan on the manned space-exploration map,” said Feeney. “We are very proud to announce that Kindersley, Saskatchewan will be the site of this space milestone.”

The launch of da Vinci's Wild Fire, the spacecraft to be carried to an altitude of 80,000 feet by the world's largest helium balloon before its 10,000-pound-thrust liquid oxygen/kerosene engines ignite for the remainder of the trip into space, will be the first manned space flight from Saskatchewan. The recoverable balloon, power stage and capsule all have parachute landing systems, as well as inflatable cushioned landing ballutes.

The da Vinci project is one of 23 competitors for the X-Prize, a foundation providing a $10 million U.S. prize to the first group that launches a manned reusable space capsule 100 kilometres into space, twice within a two-week timeframe.

The specific details and timing of da Vinci's first manned test launch to space will be announced later in 2003.

FMI: www.davinciproject.com, www.xprize.org

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