Press Release

SpaceDev Propels SpaceShipOne Close to Outer Space Third Powered Flight Sets New Records

By SpaceRef Editor
May 18, 2004
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SpaceDev’s hybrid rocket motor technology successfully propelled
SpaceShipOne on its third, and record-breaking, manned flight on May
13, 2004. SpaceShipOne accelerated to record setting altitudes and
speed, both higher than in previous powered flights, thus bringing the
Scaled Composites team a step closer to winning the $10 million Ansari

The White Knight carrier released SpaceShipOne at 46,000 feet, and
SpaceDev’s hybrid rocket motor was ignited 10 seconds after release
and burned for the full planned 55 seconds. The rocket ship, with
pilot Mike Melvill at the controls, achieved a speed of Mach 2.5 and
climbed to 211,400 feet, over 40 miles above the Earth, and 106,400
feet further toward space than the previous record of 105,000 feet.
NASA and the Air Force award astronaut wings at 50 miles.

SpaceShipOne’s first powered flight took place on December 17,
2003, with SpaceDev’s hybrid motor firing for 15 seconds. A second
powered flight occurred on April 8th of this year. In that mission,
the motor burned for 40 seconds. Scaled Composites spokesperson Kaye
LeFebvre told TechNewsWorld that Scaled next plans to push a test
flight higher to the 100-kilometer mark, or about 62.5 miles. “With
today’s flight, much of the major technical challenges have been
overcome. It’s just a matter of going higher with more people,” said
Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan. LeFebvre said that Scaled would
work to add additional occupants to the craft to meet the X-Prize
requirement for three travelers.

“This most recent SpaceShipOne flight, powered by SpaceDev’s
hybrid rocket propulsion system, flying higher and faster than before,
is like a dream made to come true through the imagination and skill of
the SpaceDev and Scaled engineers,” said Benson. “These flights are
helping SpaceDev realize our mission of moving space flight to the
private sector and opening it to the general public. Some surveys and
analysts project the possibility of a multibillion commercial space
tourism business, and SpaceDev intends to participate in that market
to the fullest extent possible. These successful, private sector
rocket-powered human flights demonstrate that the commercial sector
can supply safe and affordable human space flight. As a company, all
of us here are excited that SpaceDev is helping make space happen for
all of humanity,” added Benson.

About SpaceDev

SpaceDev creates and sells affordable and innovative
space products and solutions to government and commercial enterprises.
Upon founding SpaceDev in 1996, Jim Benson started the trend of
successful computer entrepreneurs moving into the space development
arena. For more information, visit

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.