Press Release

SpaceDev Wins Commercial Contract for Space Mission From UC Berkeley; Company Anticipates Receiving $5 Million of the $12 Million Contract Awarded to

By SpaceRef Editor
November 2, 1999
Filed under

POWAY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 2, 1999–SpaceDev Inc.:

“SpaceDev took our top-level science requirements and designed us an
extraordinarily capable small spacecraft at an affordable price.” — Dr. Mark
Hurwitz, University of California, Berkeley

SpaceDev Inc. (OTCBB:SPDV), the world’s first commercial space exploration and
development company, today announced that it has been selected by the Space
Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to
design, build, integrate, test and operate a microspacecraft that will conduct a
one-year astronomy mission in low Earth orbit.

“On Track” to Achieve Financial Goals

“This contract will represent a very important and gratifying milestone in
SpaceDev’s growth. It is expected to generate a predictable stream of revenue
totaling approximately $5 million over the course of the next two and a half years
and move us toward our goal of achieving positive earnings,” stated SpaceDev
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Benson.

The company’s business model lends itself to achieve substantial revenue growth
and market-share dominance in the rapidly evolving commercial space industry,
estimated to be a $105 billion market and growing at an estimated rate of 10%
per year, according to industry sources.

While other companies supplying space-exploration systems historically have
focused on larger and more capital-intensive, government-driven projects,
SpaceDev’s business model focuses on commercial microspacecraft solutions,
which the company believes to be a highly underpenetrated and profitable niche.

The company intends to realize revenues from the design, manufacture, launching
and operation of small spacecraft for a wide variety of institutions, corporations
and agencies requiring a cost-effective alternative to traditionally high-cost space

SpaceDev Achieves Vital Milestones

Commenting on this major SpaceDev achievement, Benson stated: “CHIPSat
represents a critical milestone in our corporate development as an integrated
supplier of microspacecraft mission solutions. We are excited that Berkeley’s
Space Sciences Laboratory has made this vote of confidence in our ability to
assist them in this first UNEX project. We are pursuing a number of other
microspacecraft opportunities for a variety of potential clients and anticipate
announcing additional contracts in coming months.

Benson further added: “Over the past two years we have initiated a number of
strategic initiatives to position SpaceDev to be one of a very few companies
capable of meeting the growing demand for fast, effective and sophisticated
small-spacecraft mission solutions.

“Through the acquisition of Integrated Space Systems (,
Space Innovations Limited ( and hybrid rocket technology produced
by the former American Rocket Company (AMROC), we have assembled a
world-class team able to create more value for our clients than they can expect
from dealing with separate contractors.”

“SpaceDev took our top-level science requirements and designed us an
extraordinarily capable small spacecraft at an affordable price,” said Dr. Mark
Hurwitz at SSL, principal investigator for CHIPS and the overall CHIPSat Mission

“We were very impressed with SpaceDev’s attention to detail and their rapid
response to our questions and concerns. The deep experience of many of their
key engineers gave us confidence that they can deliver what they promise on
schedule and within budget. We look forward to working with SpaceDev as a fully
integrated member of the mission team,” he added.

The Project

CHIPSat is the first mission of NASA’s low-cost University-Class Explorer (UNEX)
series to be approved for the implementation phase. SpaceDev’s Space Missions
Division plans to begin the CHIPSat project immediately under a commercial,
fixed-price contract with UCB. Initial integration and testing of the spacecraft’s
components are planned at the company’s headquarters in Poway about a year

The 85-kg microspacecraft will carry one science instrument, the Cosmic Hot
Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer, or CHIPS. Launch is expected in early 2002,
followed by one year of mission operations. CHIPS facilitates the observation and
diagnosis of the astrophysical environment in the void outside our solar system
and between the nearby stars in our galaxy.

Dr. Hurwitz’s team was recently granted authorization to enter the
implementation phase (Phase B) of the project following a successful project
review held on Aug. 31 by a team led by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,
home of the University-Class Projects Office. UNEX is one of several series of
lower-cost space missions in NASA’s Explorers Program.


Established in 1997, SpaceDev ( is the world’s first
commercial space exploration and development company. SpaceDev’s corporate
offices, its wholly owned subsidiary Integrated Space Systems (ISS,, and the company’s Space Missions Division are located in
Poway. The company’s other wholly owned subsidiary, Space Innovations Limited
(SIL,, is located in Newbury, England.

Besides Earth-orbiting missions such as CHIPSat, SpaceDev is offering lunar
orbiters, Mars probe carriers and derivatives of its Near Earth Asteroid Prospector
(NEAP) mission for sale as turnkey commercial products. Such commercial
deep-space missions are a first for the industry.

Additionally, investors will have the opportunity to listen to today’s SpaceDev
conference call at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time over the Internet through Vcall
at To listen to the live call, go to the Web site at least 15
minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio software. For
those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available shortly
after the call.

The foregoing news 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. The federal securities
laws provide a limited “safe harbor” for certain forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements in this news 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.

CONTACT: SpaceDev Inc., Poway
Jim Benson, 858/375-2020
Eric Reitman, 858/375-2022
Dr. Mark Hurwitz, 510/642-1579
NASA University Class Projects Office
The Financial Relations Board Inc., Los Angeles
Steven Canup/Mihir Shah (General Information)
Lisa Mueller/Moira Conlon (Investor Contacts)
Mary Tokita (Media Contact)

SpaceRef staff editor.