X Prize Cup updates

A couple of former X Prize teams plan on appearing, albeit not competing, at the X Prize Cup next month. Via the Lunar Lander Challenge blog is a press release from the da Vinci Project announcing that they plan to participate in the Cup and “show casing a new design”, and well as planning some “major announcements concerning our commercial manned space flight business initiatives”. (Unfortunately da Vinci’s web site is down as of this writing, so you can’t see what progress, if any, they have to show off at the moment.)

Meanwhile, the Romanian group ARCA plans to participate at the X Prize Cup and the International Symposium for Personal Spaceflight immediately preceding it, discussing the progress they’re making on Stabilo, their balloon-launched manned vehicle. Stabilo has an unconventional design, looking like an escape rocket mounted on one end of a dumbbell. ARCA believes that they will be ready for manned flight tests of Stabilo by the spring of 2007; presumably they’ll share more details about their test schedule at the Cup.

Finally, SPACE.com has an update about those teams competing in the two Centennial Challenge lander events at the Cup. “We are looking pretty good,” John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace, one the Lunar Lander Challenge competitors, said. Dave Masten of Masten Space Systems later told the Lunar Lander Challenge blog that his company is also still planning to participate in the event.

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