From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4_at_msn.com)
Date: Thu Dec 18 2003 - 06:33:29 PST
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 8:05 AM
To: Larry Klaes
Subject: SpaceDev December Newsletter
SpaceDev December 2003 Newsletter
Jim Benson will be on The Space Show (www.thespaceshow.com)
January 13, 2004 from 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM PST
SpaceDev Powers SpaceShipOne to Break Sound Barrier
Flight on Historic 100th Anniversary of Wright Bros.
POWAY, CA (December 17, 2003) – SpaceDev’s (OTCBB: SPDV) revolutionary rocket motor technology successfully powered SpaceShipOne on its historic first powered flight, on the 100th anniversary of the first human powered flight by the Wright brothers. Today, a significant milestone was achieved by our customer, Scaled Composites, as they successfully tested the first manned supersonic flight of an aircraft developed by a small company’s private, non-government effort.
"It was an incredible sight!" said SpaceDev founding chairman and chief executive Jim Benson. "We were watching as the White Knight dropped SpaceShipOne at about ten miles up, and we waited breathlessly as the White Knight pealed off and SpaceShipOne fell for a few seconds. Then with a really visible flash of light and stream of smoke, our rocket motor lit, and SpaceShipOne seemed to blast straight up for about 15 seconds that seemed like minutes. Then the flame and smoke stopped, but you could still see little SpaceShipOne coasting up toward space at an incredible speed. What a sight! It was even more exciting than watching Apollo 17 lift off at night way back in 1972. After working on this project for four years, space is now exciting again!"
After being released by the White Knight, a carrier aircraft, SpaceShipOne Test Pilot, Brian Binnie flew the ship to a stable, 0.55 mach gliding flight condition, started a pull-up, and fired its hybrid rocket motor. Nine seconds later, SpaceShipOne broke the sound barrier and continued its steep powered ascent. The climb was very aggressive, accelerating forward at more than 3-g while pulling upward at more than 2.5-g. At motor shutdown, 15 seconds after ignition, SpaceShipOne was climbing at a 60-degree angle and flying near 1.2 Mach (930 mph). Brian then continued the maneuver to a vertical climb, achieving zero speed at an altitude of 68,000 feet.
"This successful and historic flight is important because we are showing that the private sector can perform human space flight faster, safer and cheaper. In addition, this is historic because it is the first human flight ever powered by hybrid rocket technology, and SpaceDev is proud to be leading the way, by providing critical hybrid motor components and technology to Scaled. It is creating this kind of challenge and stimulating a renewed sense of excitement about space that caused me to start SpaceDev," said Benson. "The entire SpaceDev engineering team is pleased to help pioneer this New Space Age."
SpaceDev (OTCBB: SPDV) creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and solutions to government and commercial enterprises. 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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