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Da Vinci manned space program announces major partnership - Saskatchewan Science Centre and The da Vinci Project -Toronto/Saskatchewan, October 28, 2003 – The da Vinci project, aiming to launch the world’s first independent manned space capsule, announced a major partnership with the Saskatchewan Science Centre today. “This partnership will assist the da Vinci Project in facilitating sponsorships, assist in promoting the educational value of this initiative, including assistance with a school-based project that we plan to promote within primary and secondary schools in the province,” said Brian Feeney, Project Leader and Astronaut for the da Vinci Project. “The partnership also opens doors to several other initiatives that are in the beginning stages of planning that will lead to our successful quest for the X Prize.”

The da Vinci project is one of 24 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 kilometers into space, twice within a two-week timeframe. “The Saskatchewan Science Centre is very excited about being a part of this historic project,” said Ben Ryan, Chairman of the Board of the Science Centre. “One of the primary goals of the Science Centre is to promote interest in science and help to educate people about the many innovations that science has brought to us. Our partnership with the da Vinci project is an opportunity to be an integral part of an important progressive initiative that has profound implications for the future of human space travel.”

The launch will utilize the world's largest reusable helium balloon, with the spacecraft tethered at an angle 200 meters below. The balloon will rise to a height of 80,000 feet for launch. At launch, the tethers release and the rocket powers up to an estimated 120 kilometers.

The recoverable balloon, power stage and capsule all have parachute landing systems, as well as inflatable cushioned landing ballutes.

The precise launch date will be detailed later in 2003. Details of the project can be found on the website, at www.davinciproject.com.

For more information about the da Vinci Project or the Saskatchewan Science Centre, please contact:

Brian Feeney
Project Leader - Astronaut
The da Vinci Project
1-416-434-7470
bfeeney@davinciproject.com
Brain W. Cook
Saskatchewan Public Relations/Sponsorship
the da Vinci Project
(306)-585-2811
 
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