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Civilian Space Travel Winner Gets Second Shot at Space

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Feb 8, 2007 1:40 am
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Benson Space Company to Provide Free – and Tax-Free – Ride to Contest Winner

Benson Space Company announced today it would provide a tax-free ride to space enthusiast Brian Emmett, making him the first “test passenger” and fulfilling his lifelong desire to go to space. Emmett, 31, a Washington D.C. native, will serve as a consultant and subsequently be one of the first civilians to travel to space when Benson Space Company begins suborbital passenger flights in late 2008. As a working member of the BSC flight test team, Emmett would no longer be subject to the taxes that kept him from taking the space flight he had won in an earlier contest.

Chairman and President Jim Benson announced, “This is what the Benson Space Company is all about, making peoples’ dream of going to space come true. When I heard about Brian Emmett’s dashed dreams of going to space, my first thought was ‘Fellow space cadet in distress! Benson Space to the rescue.’ I knew that we were the only ones capable of rekindling Brian’s vision, and I am pleased we found a way for Brian to come on board as a test passenger and creative consultant.”

Emmett beamed, “I’m absolutely ecstatic about Mr. Benson’s gracious offer. I forfeited Oracle’s prize last year when I realized that my childhood dream would come at too high a cost for my family. It’s hard to put into words how tough that decision was, and it’s even harder to express my excitement about Mr. Benson creating a second chance for me. Lightning can strike twice.”

Because of the tax problem all space travel contest winners experience, Benson Space Company will announce in a few weeks its own contest to award multiple tax-paid trips to space. People wishing to compete for a free trip to space will be directed to a new Benson Space Company website named www.freetriptospace.com, where contest rules will soon be posted.

About Benson Space Company

Established in September 2006, Benson Space Company (BSC) seeks to provide the first, safest and lowest cost astronaut-making spaceflights for the emerging personal spaceflight market. BSC is led by Jim Benson, founder and former chairman/CEO/CTO of SpaceDev (OTC Bulletin Board: SPDV – News), which developed the world’s only hybrid rocket motors used for human spaceflight. Under Benson’s guidance for nearly a decade, SpaceDev designed and produced an innovative satellite for NASA and the hybrid rocket motor technology for Paul Allen’s SpaceShipOne, the vehicle that won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004. BSC is currently working with SpaceDev in developing Dream Chaser spaceships, based on a proven and NASA-tested design, which will allow BSC to offer the world’s first, commercial, suborbital spaceflights. For more information visit www.bensonspace.com.

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