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Da Vinci Project Gets Boost From New Sponsor In Quest to Win the X Prize - ANSYS Inc. provides powerful tools to build Canadian spacecraft - TORONTO, Ontario - November 18, 2002 - In the quest to build the first privately funded, reusable spacecraft, The da Vinci Project, a Canadian entrant in the X PRIZE competition, received a boost today from ANSYS Inc. (NASDAQ: ANSS), a global provider of simulation software.

ANSYS Inc. will sponsor the Canadian team by providing a broad range of powerful engineering software tools for design simulation and virtual prototyping. These applications - which involve FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) -- are essential tools to substantially minimize costs and improve time-to-market for aerospace designers and engineers.

"This sponsorship is strategic and valuable for the da Vinci team," said Brian Feeney, Team Leader and Pilot. "ANSYS has better equipped us to build our spacecraft from design to final-stage testing and performance validation from the desktop."

The da Vinci Project began its vehicle development shortly after the X PRIZE was announced in 1996, although the team officially entered the competition in 2000. To date there have been two unmanned flights 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 currently ongoing. Flight-testing of the manned rocket is targeted in 2003.

"Brian Feeney and his da Vinci Project team are pioneers helping to open the space frontier. Their X PRIZE team reflects the true spirit of the competition," said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman. "We congratulate ANSYS for their vision in supporting the da Vinci Project. This will give ANSYS global recognition and an exciting platform to demonstrate their capabilities."

ANSYS of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania is considered a global innovator of simulation software in the CAE industry, earning recognition from prestigious media such as Forbes and BusinessWeek magazines. For three consecutive years, the software developer has been recognized as one of BusinessWeek's annual Hot Growth Companies, based on its sales growth, earnings growth and return on invested capital.

"There is a natural fit between ANSYS and the da Vinci Project. Both organizations are focused on breaking down barriers to build a new future," said James E. Cashman III, President and Chief Executive Officer, ANSYS Inc. "We're excited that our tools will play a role in building a generation of spacecraft that will revolutionize the travel and transportation industry."

To win the $10 million X PRIZE (www.xprize.org), a spacecraft must be privately financed and constructed with the ability to fly three people into space. It also must be reusable, flying twice within a two-week period. The competition's goal, which has been endorsed by leading space and aviation organizations around the world, is to jump-start the commercialization of space, including space tourism.

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 www.davinciproject.com

About 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 www.xprize.org.

About ANSYS Inc.

ANSYS Inc., founded in 1970 as Swanson Analysis Systems Inc., develops and globally markets engineering simulation software and technologies widely used by engineers and designers across a broad spectrum of industries. The Company focuses on the development of open and flexible solutions that enable users to analyze designs directly on the desktop, providing a common platform for fast, efficient and cost-conscious product development, from design concept to final-stage testing and validation. Headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania U.S.A with more than 18 strategic sales locations throughout the world, ANSYS Inc. employs more than 400 people and distributes its ANSYS®, DesignSpace®, AI*NASTRAN™, and ICEM CFD suite of products through a network of channel partners in 37 countries.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Feeney
The da Vinci Project
416-434-7470
bfeeney@davinciproject.com
Lynn Rowles
ANSYS
724-514-3076
globalpr@ansys.com
Amy Krigman
Topaz Partners (ANSYS)
781-388-3076
akrigman@topazpartners.com
Diane Murphy
X PRIZE Foundation
202-662-1280
press@xprize.org
 
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