Look Out, Branson! Here Comes Da Vinci

Canadian space flight dreams live on
CBC News

A new, Canadian commercial spacecraft prototype could launch as soon as next year, a former contender for the Ansari X Prize hopes.

“We feel extremely confident that we can be airborne within 2011,” said Brian Feeney of the new spacecraft project that grew out of the Toronto-based Da Vinci Project.

But Feeney estimates he will need $2.5 million in venture capital funding to build an XF1 prototype carrying one person and another $12.5 million to build two commercial three-person spacecraft.

He hopes to launch a new website and begin approaching investors in December, but admits it poses a challenge.

“In a young industry that’s not proven, you’re always running up against the ‘Can you demonstrate to…the venture capital community that you can manage the risk and get to the marketplace?'”

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