Press Release

One Giant Leap For the Isle of Man

By SpaceRef Editor
September 24, 2009
Filed under , ,
One Giant Leap For the Isle of Man

Isle of Man’s Space Industry ‘takes off’ with the arrival of Almaz spacecraft A world leader in commercial space exploration, Excalibur Almaz (EA), is bringing one of its spacecraft to the Isle of Man on Saturday 19 September. The reusable re-entry vehicle (RRV) was formerly part of the Almaz space system developed as part of the Russian space program in the Soviet era and will be available for public viewing at allocated times between 20 September and 27 September.*

EA, headquartered on the Isle of Man, anticipates launching an active privatesector space programme by 2013 using updated and modified technology from the ‘Almaz’ space system. EA plans to offer week-long orbital space flights to commercial customers, including governments and academic institutions, taking a big leap beyond the sub-orbital flight market targeted by most other private space companies.

In conjunction with the Isle of Man Government, EA will co-host a VIP event on 19 September represented by members of its management team and board of directors, including world renowned Russian cosmonauts Colonel Vladimir Titov and Colonel Valery Tokarev, and astronaut and Executive Vice President of EA, Leroy Chiao, who will talk about the spacecraft, their experiences and the future of the sector. Objectives of the initiative are to showcase the spacecraft, the sector and the expertise that exists within the company, and to share this knowledge with the Islands’ students at King William’s College.

Tim Craine, Director of E-Business and Space Commerce on the Isle of Man comments – “We have a strong space industry presence on the Island, with three of the worlds leading space companies based here. This event provides us with the ideal opportunity to utilise this wealth of knowledge and make it accessible to the Island’s schoolchildren. Starting with King William’s College where the spacecraft will be based for the duration, students from every primary and secondary school will be able to visit the spacecraft and interact with the experts.”

Art Dula, CEO of Excalibur Almaz comments: “It is fantastic to be able to show our spacecraft and also share the vast experience and knowledge that exists within EA with the students and public of the Isle of Man. The Island is fast becoming a beacon for space related businesses and we are delighted to be part of the growing industry here.”

*The spacecraft will be available for public viewing from 11.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 20th September and on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September.

For more information please contact: Siobhan McCluskey Lansons Communications 020 7294 3684

About the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man (population 80,000) is in the middle of the Irish Sea at the centre of the British Isles. It is a self-governing British Crown Dependency with its own parliament, government and laws.

The Isle of Man has become one of the fastest growing economies in Europe in recent years, led by its international financial services sector. Business is attracted by the Island’s competitive tax regime, professional expertise, supportive government, world-class telecoms infrastructure and sound financial regulation.

Recent growth areas of the Isle of Man economy include e-commerce, manufacturing, the film industry, international shipping and aviation, and space and satellite business, while traditional sectors like tourism (and the famous TT motorcycle races), and agriculture are still important. It is the policy of the Government of the Isle of Man to be both economically competitive and internationally responsible in supporting the interests of its people.

To discover more about the Isle of Man download the attached ‘key facts’ guide or visit the Government website at or the Invest in Isle of Man site at

About Excalibur Almaz

Established in 2005, Excalibur Almaz is incorporated, headquartered and registered on the Isle of Man in the British Isles. EA’s support contractors are in Russia, Europe, Japan and the U.S. EA’s executives and advisors include astronauts, cosmonauts and commercial aerospace business entrepreneurs.

EA has ownership of several Almaz spacecraft, including reusable reentry vehicles (RRVs) and space stations.

EA will tailor space missions to accommodate customer objectives including exploration, cargo transportation and experimentation. On selected missions, spacecraft and space stations would provide platforms for microgravity scientific experiments, potentially serving the needs of governments and academic institutions.

In addition to NPOM, leading aerospace firms contracting with EA include Space Flight Operations (SFO), a subsidiary of United Space Alliance, of the U.S.; Paragon Space Development Corporation of the U.S.; Qwaltec of the U.S.; EADS Astrium Space Transportation of Europe; and Japan Manned Space Systems (JAMSS) of Japan. EA has also formed strategic alliances with academic institutions including Rice University of the U.S and the International Space University of France, and is an Industry Forum member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute of the U.S.

SpaceRef staff editor.