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>> News > Science and Technology
British Team Intends To Win X Prize - April 8th 2004

Following the recent success of the Scaled Composites in becoming the first private company to get a license to launch a rocket powered sub orbital flight, a British Developer has come forward – claiming to be the main rivals to the team tipped to take the prize later this year.

The team started work on what they called ‘The Brunel Project’ more than 15 years ago. Although the X Prize had not then been announced, the project had been started to test one of the greatest questions left from the Industrial Revolution: could the Victorians have achieved space flight?

It was often the fantasy of science fiction writers, but in 1988 evidence emerged of the project Brunel intended to follow what became his final project, The Great Eastern, with. Historians uncovered a sketch by the engineer of what appeared to be a steam powered space vessel. After receiving a government grant, a team of researchers began work on the project to assess its feasibility.

Brunel
This was the sketch uncovered by Historians of Brunel’s Steam Powered Space Rocket

When the results came back positive, the decision was made to test whether Brunel’s creation would have actually flown. Like the manufacturing of the Babbage Engine, historians wanted to see if Britain could have dominated the world through to the 20th century on the premise that it listened to some of it’s eccentric geniuses more bizarre ideas.

The team intends to release further details of their space ambitions when they launch their website later this month.

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