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SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ Human Space Transport System Designed

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri May 13, 2005 1:23 pm
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POWAY, CA (May 12, 2005) – SpaceDev (OTCBB: SPDV) has nearly completed a small, NASA funded preliminary study that defines a safe, affordable launch system for transportation of six passengers between Earth and low earth orbits. The launch system propulsion modules would be scaled-up versions of SpaceDev’s non-explosive hybrid rocket motors. SpaceDev’s proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology successfully powered SpaceShipOne on its history making flights to space. The SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ space transportation system would be based on a combination of existing and proven technologies and designs.

“These results are very exciting and we believe even more strongly that SpaceDev can quickly develop a safe and affordable space transportation system based on existing propulsion technologies and vehicle designs,” said Jim Benson, SpaceDev’s founding chairman and CEO. “By combining existing technologies and designs in a unique and innovative manner, we believe we can reduce cost, risk and time to market for commercially viable human space transport.”

Last September, SpaceDev announced it had signed a Space Act agreement with NASA Ames Research Center to explore various designs for safe, affordable sub-orbital and orbital human space flight. SpaceDev’s initial study analyzed and compared various higher performance hybrid-based propulsion modules and passenger vehicle designs. Detailed, comparative launch trajectory and re-entry analyses were performed in conjunction with the NASA Ames thermal protection team in order to evaluate the performance requirements for the propulsion modules, and to define a thermal protection system design that would provide the cost, performance and safety necessary for routine passenger flights to low orbit and back.

This preliminary study resulted in the conceptual design of a six passenger vehicle combined with a set of hybrid propulsion modules that burn rubber and laughing gas, as in SpaceShipOne, that together could meet the needs of the quickly emerging commercial space tourism market. NASA’s need for routine, safe and affordable access to the International Space Station and its proposed Crew Exploration Vehicle, and other possible, future government and commercial low Earth orbit destinations could be incorporated into this project.

The resulting study development plan includes milestones for multiple manned sub-orbital test flights by 2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010. SpaceDev believes that its corporate culture of rapidly and successfully developing innovative space technologies would provide the right environment in which SpaceDev could design and develop a complete human space flight system for a fraction of what the large aerospace companies are expected to charge NASA.

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 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 outlined in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. 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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