SpaceDev and Boeing to Team On Commercial Deep-Space Missions; Lunar, Mars and Asteroid Missions to be Assessed.
POWAY and HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 2000
SpaceDev Inc. (OTCBB:SPDV), the world's first commercial space exploration and development company, and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), the world's largest aerospace company, announced today that they have teamed together to investigate opportunities of mutual strategic interest in the commercial deep-space arena.
Under terms of an agreement recently approved by the companies, the Boeing Space and Communications Group will team with SpaceDev's Space Missions Division to investigate a variety of small, low-cost, deep-space mission initiatives formulated by SpaceDev.
In coming months, technical and corporate staff from each company will further refine and advance SpaceDev's concept of commercial missions to the Moon, Mars and near-Earth asteroids, involving micro-spacecraft of 250 kg mass. The effort also includes a global assessment of the market potential for such missions, and a technical and programmatic assessment of launch-vehicle options for such missions.
&uot;I believe that the next major `New New Thing' will be the no-holds barred, explosive opening of space by the private sector and the convergence of space with the Internet, providing huge amounts of unique content and the largest Internet audience delivery mechanism to date,&uot; said Jim Benson, SpaceDev Chairman and CEO.
&uot;We are very pleased that Boeing has decided to join us in looking at the business case for trailblazing missions to commercially and scientifically explore the territory of the inner solar system. We look forward to working with the experienced Boeing team to help get these unique and historic missions off the ground,&uot; Benson said.
SpaceDev has been refining the design of its commercial Near Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP) mission since 1997 and started offering commercial, fixed-price Mars probe-carrier and Moon orbiter missions with real-time streaming video last year. In November 1999 the company competitively won a contract from University of California, Berkeley to design, build, integrate, test and operate the CHIPSat astronomy micro-spacecraft, NASA's first University-Class Explorer (UNEX) mission to proceed into the implementation phase.
Commenting on the agreement with SpaceDev, Rick Stephens, Boeing vice president and general manager for Reusable Space Systems, said, &uot;Boeing recognizes the potential for the commercial exploration of space and we applaud SpaceDev's entrepreneurial efforts in paving new inroads in this emerging market area. This collaborative effort will allow us to substantiate the projected market demand for commercial deep-space missions and jointly develop future market-driven solutions to meet this demand.&uot;
SpaceDev offers low-cost commercial lunar, Mars and asteroid missions for sale as turnkey commercial products, a first for the industry. Also a first, SpaceDev offers fixed-price package delivery for science instruments and technology demonstrations into earth orbit, deep-space and to other planetary bodies. SpaceDev designs and sells small, low-cost Earth-orbiting commercial or research satellites. The company is currently designing small, inexpensive orbital transfer vehicles (e.g. satellite inspectors and space tugs), and secondary payload micro-kick motors. SpaceDev has acquired hybrid sounding rocket, motor, and launch vehicle designs, and intellectual property rights produced by the former American Rocket Company (AMROC).
Established in 1997, SpaceDev (www.spacedev.com) is the world's first commercial space exploration and development company. SpaceDev's corporate offices, its wholly owned subsidiary Integrated Space Systems (ISS, www.spaceinc.com) and the firm's Space Missions Division are located near San Diego in Poway, Calif.
The Boeing Company (www.boeing.com), based in Seattle, Wash., is the largest aerospace company in the world (as measured by total sales) and the nation's leading exporter. Boeing is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, and the nation's largest NASA contractor.
The Boeing Space and Communications Group in Seal Beach, Calif., produces and operates the highly successful Delta family of launch vehicles and is a key partner on the new Sea Launch commercial launch system. As a partner in United Space Alliance (USA), a joint venture with Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) Astronautics, the Group provides overall system integration and other technical services for the Space Shuttle fleet. It is also prime contractor to NASA for the design, development and on-orbit performance of the U.S. components of the 16-nation International Space Station. The Group has built 40 Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) spacecraft and leads a team on contract to the U.S. Air Force to design, develop and produce the next-generation GPS satellites -- the 33-satellite Block IIF.
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