Press Release

SpaceDev Completes Test Firing of Micro Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2001
Filed under , ,

SpaceDev, the world’s first publicly traded commercial space
exploration and development company announced today that it has test fired its
revolutionary new miniature orbital Maneuvering and Transfer Vehicle (MTV).

The 25 kg MTV is the smallest of the family of three, and is designed to move
payloads from standard Geo Transfer Orbits (GTO) to a variety of Low Earth
Orbits (LEO) or to Geo Stationary Orbits (GEO).
The MTV is also designed to
perform on-orbit rendezvous, and with its universal payload interface can
carry customer payloads to perform inspection, repair, refueling, robotic
manipulation, science, earth observation or operations on other orbiting
satellites.

“This was a landmark event for SpaceDev,” said Jim Benson, SpaceDev
chairman and CEO. “We are building the equivalent of a strong three-legged
product stool:
micro satellites, micro kick motors and micro launch
capabilities.”
Benson also noted, “The need for a domestic source of
microsats is growing, and SpaceDev is striving to be the best or even the sole
source of affordable turnkey micro space systems during this crucial formative
period of the microsat revolution we are helping pioneer.”

The company launches CHIPSat, its first microsat, in May or June of 2002.
SpaceDev has now test fired its protoflight micro kick motor, and SpaceDev is
actively working with Sea Launch to explore supplying large quantities of
inexpensive micro satellite launches.

The SpaceDev family of MTVs currently consists of three sizes: 25, 50 and
100 kg, with the large size appropriate for such missions as International
Space Station (ISS) resupply.
The MTVs can have three levels of intelligence
ranging from simple timer controlled kick motor applications, up to multiples
of 300 MIPS of raw processing power for use in rendezvous, docking and
manipulation applications.
The intelligence for the MTV family gets its
heritage from the CHIPSat microsat SpaceDev is building for U.C. Berkeley as
NASA’s first University Explorer (UNEX) mission.
SpaceDev orbital transfer
applications are optimized for maximum change in velocity (delta-v), and
depending on payload mass, can reach 1600 meters per second or more, the
equivalent of going from 0 to 3600 miles per hour in less than four minutes.

The MTV family evolved from SpaceDev’s original Secondary Payload Orbital
Transfer Vehicle (SPOTV) concepts, which were expanded and improved with funds
from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and Air Force Office of Space
Launch (OSL).

SpaceDev and Sea Launch are working together under a grant from the
California Space Authority to explore the technical and business case for
offering inexpensive secondary payload launches on Zenits to both GTO and LEO.
SpaceDev and Sea Launch are actively seeking input on market demand and user
requirements from potential users from the commercial, government and
university communities.
Sea Launch is partially owned by the Boeing Company
.

For almost a year, SpaceDev has been developing and demonstrating what it
believes are the safest and cleanest of all rocket motors — Hybrids.
SpaceDev hybrids cannot explode like all liquid and solid motors, and SpaceDev
hybrids are not toxic like all solid and many liquid motors.
SpaceDev’s
hybrids can be safely stored fully loaded on the ground or on-orbit.
They can
restart multiple times and can be throttled.
SpaceDev has used larger
versions of the safe SpaceDev hybrid rocket motor product line in conceptual
designs for a variety of X-Prize competitors, for use in their manned sub-
orbital vehicles.

Founded in 1997, SpaceDev is the world’s first publicly traded commercial
space exploration and development company.
SpaceDev designs, assembles, tests
and markets affordable micro space systems including sophisticated micro-
satellites, low-power high performance flight computers, miniature S-Band
transponders, hybrid rocket-based orbital maneuvering and orbital transfer
vehicles (MTVs), and safe hybrid rocket motors for sub-orbital space tourism
applications.
SpaceDev is working with Sea Launch to explore offering low-
cost launches for secondary payloads, and has been working with the Air Force
to develop orbital maneuvering vehicles and kick motors for micro-satellites.

     http://www.spacedev.com/
     http://www.spacedev.com/products/OTV.html
     http://www.spacedev.com/products/Hybrid_Propulsion_RLV.htm

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 new business ventures
including, but not limited to, market conditions, successful product
development and acceptance, competition and overall economic conditions, as
well as the risk of adverse regulatory actions.
The company’s actual results
may differ materially from current expectations.
Readers are cautioned not to
put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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.

SpaceRef staff editor.