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CFDRC Software Integral Part of da Vinci Project Quest to Win the International X PRIZE Competition
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."

For more information visit the CFDRC web site at

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