The da Vinci Project - Canada's First X-Prize Competitor
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CFDRC Software Integral Part of da Vinci Project Quest to Win the International X PRIZE® Competition - CFDRC Software Support Allows Virtual Testing for Manned Space Vehicle - Huntsville , AL , (February 25, 2003) - CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) announced today that its multiphysics software products, CFD-ACE+ and CFD-FASTRAN, have been selected as design tools for the da Vinci manned space vehicle project. The da Vinci Project is a Canadian entrant in the X PRIZE® competition, the International "New Race to Space®".

To win the X PRIZE, private teams must finance, build and fly a three-person spacecraft 100 km (62 miles) to the edge of space, return safely, and then demonstrate the reusability of their vehicle by flying it again within two-weeks. There are now 24 teams from seven countries entered into the competition. The goal of the X PRIZE is to make space travel frequent and affordable for the general public.

"CFDRC and CFD Canada have provided valuable and strong CFD support for the da Vinci project," said Brian Feeney, Team Leader and Pilot. "The CFD-ACE+ and FASTRAN software tools have combined well with several other analytical methods and CAD tools better equipping us to build our spacecraft from design to final-stage testing and performance validation. The ability to perform extensive external and coupled thermal load analysis on the reentry phase of the flight is particularly beneficial. The analytical tools and resources provided from both CFDRC and CFD Canada allow us a major competitive advantage moving forward."

"We are very excited to be a part of the da Vinci project, where the ultimate goal is routine space travel," said Dr. Ashok Singhal, President and Technical Director, CFD Research Corporation. "CFDRC has always been at the leading edge of simulation technology, making our tools very suitable for the da Vinci project in its quest to fly humans into space."

"We have been intimately involved in this exciting project since its inception," said Dr. Vladimir Kudriavtsev, managing director of CFD Canada. "Multi-disciplinary CFD solutions developed at CFDRC were utilized to study various flight scenarios and various vehicle configurations, including innovative aero-breaking ballutes."

The da Vinci Project began development of its vehicle shortly after the X PRIZE was announced in 1996, and the team officially entered the competition in 2000. To date, there have been two unmanned flight tests of the full-scale rocket propulsion system and flight qualification of the flight guidance system. Detailed engineering and fabrication of the manned rocket is ongoing. Flight-testing of the manned rocket is targeted for 2003.

"It will be the private sector, led by visionaries such as Brian Feeney and his da Vinci team, that will open the frontiers of space for the general public," said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman. "We congratulate CFDRC for supporting that vision and the da Vinci Project."

About CFD Research Corporation:

CFDRC is a technology leader in advanced multiphysics and multidisciplinary simulation software and research. The company's CFD-ACE+ product line and related services allow users to significantly reduce design time and expenses through comprehensive up-front simulations. The main industries served are semiconductors, MEMS, BioMEMS, medical devices, fuel cells, automotive, and aerospace. CFDRC also offers CFD-FASTRAN, the leading compressible flows software for high-speed aerodynamics and multiple moving bodies analysis.

CFDRC's extensive research in advancement of numerical methods, physical models and new concepts under contracts sponsored by government agencies and industry guarantees to sustain its technology leadership role.

CFDRC has over 130 employees (over 75 PhDs) and is headquartered in Huntsville, AL with branch offices in Sunnyvale, CA and Stuttgart, Germany. Worldwide representation is provided through a network of distributors. For more information visit our web site at

About the da Vinci Project:

The da Vinci Project's aim of capturing the X Prize, the international "New Race to Space®" is backed by a core of volunteers from many walks of life and disciplines. Aerospace engineers, experts in project management and finance contribute their time and expertise towards the realization of the next step in Human discovery. The da Vinci Project's novel rocket design will be launched from the world's largest reusable helium balloon at an altitude of 80,000 feet (24,400 meters). To learn more, visit

About the X PRIZE:

The X PRIZE competition, the first-ever space-based incentive competition, follows in the footsteps of more than 100 aviation incentive prizes offered early last century, that created today's $300 billion-dollar commercial air transport industry. The most significant of these prizes was the Orteig Prize, won by Charles Lindbergh for his 1927 flight from New York to Paris.

For additional information on the X PRIZE Foundation and Competition and the more than 20 teams from around the world, visit the X PRIZE Foundation on the web at

For more information, please contact:

Brian Feeney
The da Vinci Project
Dr. Vladimir Kudriavtsev
CFD Canada
Michael Showalter
CFD Research Corporation
Diane Murphy
X PRIZE Foundation



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