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                                  For Immediate Release: July 27 , 2004
 



 

GO FOR LAUNCH! X PRIZE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES TEAMS READY TO COMPETE FOR $10 MILLION

Los Angeles, CA — July 27, 2004 The American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team announces launch dates for SpaceShipOne and the Canadian da Vinci Project Team announces roll-out date for their completed spaceship.

The X PRIZE Foundation announced key next steps today by two of its top competitors for the ANSARI X PRIZE. The American Mojave Aerospace Ventures, LLC Team (a partnership between Paul G. Allen and Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites) announced today that it has given its official 60-day notice and has scheduled its first competition flight on September 29th, 2004, at the Mojave Airport Civilian Aerospace Test Center in Mojave, California. To win the $10 million, SpaceShipOne will need to make a second flight within two weeks, by October 13th, 2004.

In addition, the Canadian da Vinci Project Team, based in Toronto, Canada, announced its plans to roll-out its completed Wild Fire spacecraft for public viewing and photo opportunities on Thursday, Aug 5th, 2004, at its Downsview Airport hanger in Toronto. The da Vinci Project Team, widely heralded as a contender for the $10 million, will pursue its own ANSARI X PRIZE space flight attempts this Fall.

Also introduced to supporters and press was Amir Ansari, representing the Ansari family, the benefactors who titled the ANSARI X PRIZE, and Astronaut Rick Searfoss, the Chief Judge of the competition. The announcements took place at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport in Santa Monica, California, at 10:30 am PST.

"Eight years ago, under the Arch in St. Louis, we kicked off the X PRIZE competition. Today I'm pleased to announce that the first team is ready to make an attempt to claim the $10 million, with other teams close behind, said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE Foundation. "The American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team and the Canadian da Vinci Project Team are just two of the 26 competing groups who will someday make it possible for spaceflights to be conducted from commercial spaceports across the globe. When the ANSARI X PRIZE competition is won, it will herald the start of a new renaissance of spaceflight in which the general public will have their chance to fly next."

If successful, Mojave Aerospace Ventures will make history by launching a privately financed, manned spaceship to 100 km altitude, twice within two weeks, each carrying a pilot and the weight and volume equivalent of two additional passengers. On June 21st, Mike Melvill, a pilot for Mojave Aerospace Ventures, became the first commercial pilot to enter suborbital space, earning astronaut wings and a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Similar to the June flight, the competition launches will take place at the Mojave Airport Civilian Aerospace Test Center in Mojave, California. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the historic events. Parking passes for public attendance can be purchased on the X PRIZE website (www.xprize.org).

"The idea of competitions have always had a rich heritage in our society," said Paul G. Allen, sole investor of SpaceShipOne and partner in Mojave Aerospace Ventures, LLC. "This competition has proven that there are many different ways to attack the challenges set out by the ANSARI X PRIZE. From the start we have approached SpaceShipOne with a 'can-do, home-brew' attitude. We are grateful that our previous flights have brought even more attention to the ANSARI X PRIZE and given more momentum to the groundswell of excitement that is continuing to build for the long-term potential of affordable space exploration."

"I want to thank the X PRIZE Foundation for providing the inspiration in 1996, to get us little guys thinking about private development of manned space flight. Last month our team demonstrated that private companies can indeed conduct space flights without government help." stated Burt Rutan, Team Leader of the Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team and designer of both the White Knight and SpaceShipOne. "We are hopeful to complete both qualifying flights and to win the ANSARI X PRIZE."

Wild Fire, the Canadian da Vinci Project Team spacecraft, is also launched at high-altitude into suborbital space at 80,000 feet from an unmanned, reusable helium balloon. The Canadian da Vinci Project Team, considered one of the top ANSARI X PRIZE competitors, will reveal its Wild Fire space vehicle to the public for the first time on August 5th, 2004, at its Downsview Airport Hanger in Toronto.

"The da Vinci Project Team has made huge strides in the past year and we're excited to finally share Wild Fire with the public," noted Brian Feeney, da Vinci Project Team Leader. "We're in the commercial tourist race for the long haul and while working with an all-volunteer team, we've been able to accomplish major aviation and space milestones in pursuit of the ANSARI X PRIZE."

In addition, Colonel Rick Searfoss, pilot and commander of three Space Shuttle missions, was introduced as the Chief Judge of the ANSARI X PRIZE. "We have met with the Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team and we are prepared to ensure that the flights are well monitored and that all rules are followed carefully," said Col. Searfoss. "As an experienced astronaut, I can tell you that I'm personally excited to see the beginning of a new generation of spaceflight."

About the ANSARI X PRIZE Competition
Currently, 26 teams from around the globe are competing for the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE. In order to win the competition, teams must build a safe and reusable space vehicle able to carry one pilot and the weight equivalent of two passengers, 100km (62 miles) into suborbital space. The vehicle must be privately financed and safely flown twice within a two-week period. The first registered ANSARI X PRIZE team to complete this feat will win the $10 million prize and a spectacular 5-foot trophy.

About the X PRIZE Foundation (www.xprize.org)
The X PRIZE Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. The Foundation's ANSARI X PRIZE Competition is supported by its Title Sponsor, the Ansari family, and Presenting Sponsor, Champ Car World Series. The Foundation is also supported by private donations from the St. Louis Community through an organization called the New Spirit of St. Louis Organization. The Foundation's mission is to educate the public about space travel, create educational programming for students and space enthusiasts, and provide incentives in the private sector to make space travel frequent and affordable for the general public. Several additional sponsorships for the ANSARI X PRIZE competition remain available to corporations or individuals who wish to support the contest and associate themselves with courage, determination, achievement, space, speed, high performance and technology.

To find out how individuals or corporations can join the efforts of the X PRIZE, or involve neighborhood schools or community centers with X PRIZE educational programs, visit www.xprize.org or contact the office at 636-519-9449

About the X PRIZE Foundation

The X PRIZE Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Supported by private donations and the St. Louis community, the Foundation’s mission is to create educational programming for students and space enthusiasts as well as provide incentives in the private sector to make space travel frequent and affordable for the general public. Several additional sponsorships for the ANSARI X PRIZE competition remain available to corporations or individuals who wish to support the X PRIZE Foundation and associate themselves with space, speed and high technology.

To learn more about the ANSARI X PRIZE competition, please visit www.ansarixprize.org. To find out how individuals, educational organizations or corporations can join the efforts of the X PRIZE Foundation, please visit www.xprize.org or contact the office at +1 636 519 9449.

 

   
 
                                  For Immediate Release: March 18, 2004




 

The da Vinci Project Implements Additional ANSYS Software in Quest to Win International X PRIZE® Competition

ANSYS Now Providing CFX and ANSYS ICEM CFD Tools to Help Canadian Team Rocket Into Space

SOUTHPOINTE, Pa., March 18, 2004 – ANSYS, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANSS), a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes, today announced it is providing additional simulation tools for the da Vinci Project, a Canadian entrant in the $10 million X PRIZE competition. The X PRIZE is designed to jumpstart the space tourism industry through competition among the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world.

The da Vinci Project recently implemented CFX, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, to aid in the development of processes involving fluid flow, heat transfer and chemical reaction. Also added from the ANSYS software suite was ANSYS ICEM CFD, a post-processing tool to help streamline product development.
ANSYS first partnered with the Canadian team in 2002, offering a broad-range of structural simulation software tools that have helped the da Vinci Project in the development of the first privately funded, reusable spacecraft. These applications are essential tools used to substantially minimize costs and improve time-to-market for designers and engineers, and are still used by the da Vinci Project today, complementing the two new ANSYS additions.

"The da Vinci team has relied on ANSYS software for over a year now, so we were thrilled to implement the CFX and ANSYS ICEM CFD products," said Brian Feeney, team leader and pilot at the da Vinci Project. "With these additions, our team is working with some of the most comprehensive and advanced simulation tools available, enabling us to build our spacecraft from design to final-stage testing and performance validation. CFX is currently helping us evaluate external aerodynamics of the vehicle at subsonic and super-sonic speeds and the
internal heat transfer in the fuel tanks and storage systems. Our engineers can do this all right from their desktops -- this provides us with a major edge on the competition."

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 later this year.

"With our CFX foundation and skilled team in Waterloo, Canada, we were thrilled to become a part of the da Vinci project," said Chris Reid, vice president and general manager, fluids business unit at ANSYS, Inc. "Knowing that we're able to provide the CFD tools to help support this remarkable project is important to ANSYS CFX, as well as ANSYS as a whole because it represents much of what we stand for and builds upon the foundation that we've developed as a Canadian technology leader."

To win the $10 million X PRIZE, 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, endorsed by leading space and aviation organizations around the world, is to jumpstart the commercialization of space, including space tourism.

"ANSYS has felt a strong connection with the da Vinci Project since the beginning of our work together," said James E. Cashman III, president and chief executive officer at ANSYS, Inc. Both organizations share a similar vision -- to use technology and innovation to help make an impact on the future. "What's also exciting about this partnership is that we're able to leverage ANSYS' Canadian presence through the talented team we've acquired at CFX - being able to provide this expanded set of tools right from CFX headquarters in Waterloo makes ANSYS' contribution to help build this generation of spacecraft uniquely special."

About the da Vinci Project
The da Vinci Project's aim of capturing the X PRIZE, the international "New Race to Space(R)" 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 ANSYS, Inc.
ANSYS, Inc., founded in 1970, develops and globally markets engineering simulation software and technologies widely used by engineers and designers across a broad spectrum of industries. ANSYS 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 approximately 25 strategic sales locations throughout the world, ANSYS, Inc. employs more than 600 people and distributes its products through a network of channel partners in 40 countries. Visit www.ansys.com for more information.
ANSYS, DesignSpace, ANSYS DesignModeler, ANSYS DesignXplorer, ANSYS ProFEA, ANSYS Emax, ANSYS Workbench Environment, Multi-field, CFX, AI*Environment and any and all ANSYS, Inc. product names referenced on any media, manual or the like, are registered trademarks or trademarks of subsidiaries of ANSYS, Inc. located in the United States or other countries. All other product names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective manufacturers.

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

Kelly Wall
ANSYS Corporate Communications
 
724-514-3076
kelly.wall@ansys.com
Diane Reid
Topaz Partners
 
781-388-7900x213
dreid@topazpartners.com
   
 
                                  For Immediate Release: October 28, 2003




 

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
 
   
                                  For Immediate Release: October 08, 2003




 

Sun Microsystems of Canada and da Vinci Project Team up to Take on the Final Frontier

Sun sponsors Canadian Entrant in the X PRIZE® Competition

Toronto/Markham, Ontario, October 8, 2003 – Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. (Sun) and the da Vinci Project are teaming up to build and safely launch its first reusable, manned spacecraft into sub-orbit, the two organizations announced today. The technology sponsorship represents a big boost for the da Vinci Project as it furthers its Canadian entry into the $10 million X Prize Competition, an international contest aimed to kick-start the manned commercial space industry.

As an "Official Technology Products Partner" of the da Vinci Project, Sun is providing the Canadian team with a broad range of powerful hardware and network cluster tools for design simulation and virtual prototyping. Sun tools will power applications like FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), which are key processes in substantially reducing engineering costs and improving time-to-market for aerospace designers and engineers.

“At Sun, we have 21 years of relentless innovation under our belts,” said Stéphane Boisvert, President of Sun Microsystems of Canada. “Our role in supporting the da Vinci Project is another example of our commitment to incubate and showcase new applications that utilize proven technologies, including those that take advantage of networking and integrated software solutions.”

Leveraging Sun Blade 2000 scalable multi-processor workstations and state-of-the art Visualization Tools, the da Vinci team was able to:

bullet reduce the time to run stress analysis tests on the spacecraft;
bullet solve complex analytics problems, that were previously too large to solve with less robust hardware;
bullet cost-effectively exploit the potential of integrating a variety of software solutions; and
bullet enhance graphics that enable the team to visualize how spec changes impact the entire design of the spacecraft before its construction.

Dr. Vladimir Kudriavtsev, head of da Vinci engineering team, views Sun’s contributions as key to the success of the program. “This sponsorship allows direct integrated analysis of the flight hardware during the preliminary design phase, thus reducing product development phase down to six months while cutting product development costs by several million dollars.”

"Like Sun, the da Vinci team is dedicated to innovation and this sponsorship further validates our goal of leveraging technology to help a small Canadian team realize its dream of pioneering an international space travel industry," added Brian Feeney, Team Leader and Pilot. "Not only has Sun equipped us with the world’s best in class technology, they have positioned us to build our spacecraft from design to final-stage testing and performance validation”

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 has been developmental testing of the spacecraft propulsion system, flight guidance system, manned flight simulator, satellite based communications and pending launch approval from the Canadian government. Detailed engineering and fabrication of the manned rocket is currently ongoing. Flight-testing of the manned rocket is targeted in early 2004.

"The X PRIZE Competition is all about speed, innovation and opening new frontiers -- areas similar to the computer revolution of the 1980's and 1990's in which companies such as Sun helped to make happen", said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman X PRIZE Foundation. “We are delighted that Sun Microsystems of Canada has shown vision and foresight in becoming a sponsor of the da Vinci Project in their quest to win the $10 million X PRIZE and we welcome the participation of other visionary and pioneering high tech companies in opening the space frontier."

About  Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc.:

Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., is headquartered in Markham, Ontario. The company, which employs more than 550 persons, has offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. Sun products and services are also available through Sun Authorized Independent Sales Organizations and iForce(SM) partners across Canada. For more information, visit http://ca.sun.com.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc. Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"(TM) -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com.

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) soaring to a peak altitude of over 100 kilometres. To learn more, visit www.davinciproject.com

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.

To win the $10 million X PRIZE, 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.

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.

For more information about the da Vinci Project or Sun, please contact:

Brian Feeney
The da Vinci Project
416-434-7470
bfeeney@davinciproject.com
Ian Murphy
Federal City Communications
202-498-7267
fedcity@nationalpress.com
Shirley Horvat
Sun Microsystems of Canada
905-513-4856
shirely.horvat@sun.ca
Caroline Verboon
MAVERICK
416-640-5525 x226
carolinev@maverickpr.com
   
                                  For Immediate Release: May 13, 2003




 

World's First Independent Manned Space Launch From Saskatchewan

Highways and Transportation - 298

Saskatchewan, May 13, 2003 – Saskatchewan will host the world's first independent manned space launch, says the head of the da Vinci project.

"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," Project Leader and Astronaut for the da Vinci Project Brian Feeney said.
"We are very proud to announce that Kindersley, Saskatchewan will be the site
of this space milestone."

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 kilometers into space, twice within a two-week
timeframe.

"The government of Saskatchewan is very excited about the prospect of our
province hosting the world's first-ever independent manned space launch,"
Highways and Transportation Minister Mark Wartman said. "Our future is wide
open in Saskatchewan, and this project emphasizes our commitment to
innovation, technology and embracing the future."

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 kilometres – and into history.

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 Saskatchewan's contribution , please contact:

Brian Feeney
The da Vinci Project
416-434-7470
bfeeney@davinciproject.com
Brian Cook
Highways and Transportation
Regina
(306)787-2701
   




 

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 www.cfdrc.com.

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 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 www.xprize.org.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Feeney
The da Vinci Project
416-434-7470
bfeeney@davinciproject.com
Dr. Vladimir Kudriavtsev
CFD Canada
416-200-5218
vvk@cfdcanada.com
Michael Showalter
CFD Research Corporation
256-726-4939
mss@cfdrc.com
Diane Murphy
X PRIZE Foundation
202-662-1280
press@xprize.org
For Immediate Release: November 18, 2002




 

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 - 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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