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SpaceDev Begins Development of its Small Launch Vehicle SpaceDev Streaker

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Apr 5, 2005 12:38 pm
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POWAY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 4, 2005–SpaceDev (OTCBB: SPDV) has signed a lease to expand its fabrication and test facilities and to begin constructing portable, high tech rocket motor test support equipment in anticipation of test firing new rocket motors that SpaceDev is developing for its low-cost expendable small launch vehicle called SpaceDev Streaker(TM).

Under an Air Force Research Laboratory contract announced last October, SpaceDev has designed and will begin development of the SpaceDev Streaker(TM) Hybrid Upper Stage rocket motor. This motor is expected to produce approximately 20,000 pounds of thrust, in contrast to the 15,000 pounds of thrust produced by SpaceDev’s hybrid rocket motor technology for Paul Allen’s SpaceShipOne. In addition, the Company plans to boost overall performance of this upper stage motor using new techniques and refining current techniques that go beyond that of traditional hybrid motors.

“This additional SpaceDev facility will also be located in Poway, California. It will add approximately 11,000 square feet of fabrication space in which we will construct rocket motor development equipment that will be highly adaptable and mobile. This equipment is being built on several large flatbed trailers to maximize mobility and system test flexibility,” said Jim Benson, founding chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This new rocket motor test equipment should be applicable to a wide variety of future hybrid rocket motor developments.”

SpaceDev is planning to construct its rocket motor test stand with the capability of handling up to 250,000 pounds of thrust. The test stand will be designed to support the 20,000 pounds of thrust produced by the Hybrid Upper Stage motor, and the 120,000 pounds of thrust expected to be produced by the SpaceDev Streaker(TM) Small Common Booster motor. The portable test stand is expected to open more potential sites for rocket motor firings and is expected to cost less than renting existing government facilities.

Complementing the SpaceDev test stand is a planned transportable, self-contained, air-conditioned command center including all necessary monitoring and instrumentation equipment. A mobile SpaceDev test support trailer is being designed to carry test tanks and conditioning equipment to move, maintain and store various quantities of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), used as the oxidizer in SpaceDev’s safe, non-exploding, rubber-burning rocket motors.

“We are currently scheduling the first Hybrid Upper Stage motor firing for later this summer,” said Benson. “We are working closely with our Air Force customer, and hope to soon begin work designing and developing the Small Common Booster motor for SpaceDev Streaker(TM).”

Last September, SpaceDev announced that it was exploring designs for safe and affordable manned, sub-orbital and orbital space flight. Preliminary design of the SpaceDev Dream Chaser(TM) is progressing and SpaceDev intends to use as much technology from SpaceDev Streaker(TM) as possible in SpaceDev Dream Chaser(TM) to reduce cost and risk, and to speed development. SpaceDev currently plans to use variations of both the Hybrid Upper Stage and the Small Common Booster motors in Dream Chaser(TM), along with Large Common Boosters in the orbital version of SpaceDev Dream Chaser(TM).

About SpaceDev

SpaceDev (OTCBB:SPDV) creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and solutions to government and commercial enterprises. SpaceDev’s innovations include the design, manufacture, marketing and operation of sophisticated micro- and nano- satellites, hybrid rocket-based orbital Maneuvering and orbital Transfer Vehicles (MoTVs) as well as sub-orbital and orbital hybrid rocket-based propulsion systems for safe human space flight. Upon founding SpaceDev in 1997, Jim Benson started the trend of successful computer entrepreneurs moving into the space development arena. For more information, visit www.spacedev.com.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s business and future prospects and other similar statements that do not concern matters of historical fact. Forward-looking statements relating to product development, business prospects and development of a commercial market for technological advances are based on the Company’s current expectations. The Company’s current expectations are subject to all of the uncertainties and risks customarily associated with developing business ventures including, but not limited to, risks associated with new product development and availability of raw resources and suppliers, risks to marketed products and availability of financing and other sources of income, as well as risks discussed in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from current expectations. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this release and to read it in conjunction with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-KSB, including the consolidated financial statements filed therewith. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.

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