Press Release

SpaceDev Given Go-Ahead on NASA CHIPSat Mission – NASA Office of Space Science Approval Paves the Way for Early 2002 Launch Date

By SpaceRef Editor
December 18, 2000
Filed under ,

SpaceDev, Inc., the world’s first publicly traded commercial space
exploration and development company, announced today that their $5
million CHIPSat spacecraft project has been officially confirmed by
NASA Headquarters.

Reflecting on this milestone achievement, Stan Dubyn, SpaceDev’s
president and chief operating officer commented, “The CHIPSat
Confirmation by NASA is a major vote of confidence and a testament to
SpaceDev’s ability to provide high quality and affordable flight
systems, and is instrumental in further providing the groundwork for
our future development of space. Each and every shareholder and
employee should take pride in this very significant accomplishment,
and I salute the hard work of our UC Berkeley and SpaceDev CHIPSat
development team.”

CHIPSat, the first University Explorer mission funded by the NASA
Explorers Office is a low-earth orbiting science mission managed by
the University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory
( SpaceDev is under contract to design and
build the spacecraft, integrate the science payload, integrate the
flight system to the launch vehicle, and operate the CHIPSat
Observatory for one year. CHIPSat
( will be launched as a
secondary payload on a Boeing Delta-II GPS replacement launch mission
planned for early 2002.

Dr. Mark Hurwitz, UC Berkeley’s CHIPSat Principal Investigator,
said, “The Confirmation Review panel at NASA HQ was very supportive of
the CHIPS science mission and pleased to see the project move forward.
The panel was impressed with Berkeley and SpaceDev’s response to the
”action items“ of earlier reviews and cognizant of the satellite
experience of key SpaceDev personnel. The panel recognized that
CHIPSat would be SpaceDev’s first flight mission, and also noted the
potential benefits of increased competition in the satellite field.
They commented that CHIPSat was of the appropriate technical
complexity for a first satellite and observed that a successful
CHIPSat mission could put SpaceDev in an improved position to compete
for larger projects in the future.”

The CHIPSat team is currently testing and validating key
components and subsystems developed by SpaceDev for the project.
Testing has also begun with an innovative satellite command and
control architecture using standard commercial network protocols. This
architecture, combined with SpaceDev’s new HPX-21 Single Board MPC750
Flight Computer and MST-21 S-Band Transponder, allows the team to test
critical functionality among the spacecraft and instrument processors
over the Internet. This includes the CHIPS science payload being
developed in Virginia and at UC Berkeley, the Attitude Control &
Determination System, and the Command & Data Handling Subsystem.

Jeff Janicik, SpaceDev’s CHIPSat Program Manager commented, “Our
team did an outstanding job demonstrating the capability and elegant
simplicity of our spacecraft design to NASA — while at the same time
keeping up with their day-to-day design and development tasks, so as
to maintain our delivery schedule.”

About SpaceDev

SpaceDev offers fixed-price package delivery for science
instruments and technology demonstrations into earth orbit, to deep
space and to other planetary bodies. SpaceDev designs and sells
smaller, low-cost Earth-orbiting commercial and research satellites.
The company is currently designing inexpensive orbital transfer
vehicles and secondary payload micro-kick motors for the Air Force. In
1998, SpaceDev acquired intellectual property rights to hybrid
sounding rocket, motor, and launch vehicle designs and test data
produced by the former American Rocket Company (AMROC). SpaceDev also
offers low-cost commercial missions and spacecraft for lunar orbiters,
Mars orbiters and probe carriers, and asteroid rendezvous and landers.
SpaceDev’s sale of these turnkey, fixed-price, commercial products is
a leading edge innovation for the space industry. Established in 1997,
SpaceDev’s corporate offices are located near San Diego in Poway,
California. SpaceDev and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BAnews), the world’s
largest aerospace company, have announced that they have teamed to
investigate opportunities of mutual strategic interest in the
commercial deep-space arena.

For more information: Dave Smith 858/375-2011, vice president of
Flight Systems & chief technical officer.

Forward-Looking Statements

The foregoing press release includes numerous 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 in this press release 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.