Press Release

Successful Launch of SpaceDev Spacecraft

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2003
Filed under , ,

SpaceDev today announced the successful launch of
the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) microsatellite
designed and built by SpaceDev for the University of California, Berkeley
(UCB) under a NASA-funded contract.

In an impressive evening launch on January 12, CHIPSat was successfully
delivered to low-earth orbit. The Boeing Delta II carrying CHIPSat lifted off
at 4:45 p.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Approximately
eighty-three minutes after liftoff, the rocket deployed the microsatellite
into the desired orbit.

CHIPSat, a high-performance inexpensive microsatellite, will be the first
U.S. mission ever to use end-to-end satellite operations over the Internet
with TCP/IP and FTP. This concept was analyzed and demonstrated by the NASA
OMNI team via UoSat-12; however, SpaceDev will be the first to implement the
concept as the only means of satellite communication.

The TCP/IP stack and existing utilities (such as FTP) built into the
WindRiver VX Works RTOS in the spacecraft’s single board computer provide an
essentially free infrastructure for moving data on the spacecraft and between
the spacecraft and ground systems.

The utilization of TCP/IP and standard interfaces also provided huge cost
and reliability advantages for a project where team members were working from
different locations. “We were able to connect systems early-on at the
‘flatsat’ level and work out interface problems with our major partners prior
to final system build, test and delivery,” said Jeff Janicik, flight systems
director for SpaceDev. “Phased development of integration and testing greatly
eased the cost and schedule of bringing hardware together at specific
milestones in the project.”

SpaceDev is using proven, less expensive commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)
components to develop small high-performance satellites and miniaturized
subsystems at lower cost than traditional systems. The utilization of COTS
hardware and software allows for more rapid development time because of
reduced lead times and the existence of well-known interfaces and
specifications. Likewise, testing time is greatly reduced because the tools
and protocols are well established and maintained in the worldwide user
community. Another benefit is that early integration activities are
encouraged which helps to discover specification and implementation problems
early in the project when they are easier and less expensive to fix.

“I’m extremely proud of my team at SpaceDev for successfully designing and
building this innovative small spacecraft for a mere $6.8 million and
delighted to be a part of helping to make affordable access to space a
reality,” said Jim Benson, chairman and chief executive officer of SpaceDev.
“We wish our UCB and NASA colleagues every success with the science portion of
the mission and look forward to supporting their mission control and operation
needs for the duration of the mission.”

About SpaceDev

SpaceDev creates and sells affordable and
innovative space products and solutions to government and commercial
enterprises. SpaceDev products and solutions include the design, manufacture,
marketing and operation of sophisticated micro and nano satellites, hybrid
rocket-based orbital Maneuvering and orbital Transfer Vehicles (MTVs) as well
as safe sub-orbital and orbital hybrid rocket-based propulsion systems.
SpaceDev has been awarded contracts from NASA, National Reconnaissance
Organization (NRO), Boeing, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Space
Authority (CSA) Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and several commercial
customers. SpaceDev is also developing commercial hybrid rocket motors and
small high performance space vehicles and subsystems. For more information,
visit www.spacedev.com .

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, the level of sales to key customers; the
economic conditions affecting our industry; actions by competitors;
fluctuations in the price of raw materials; the availability of outside
contractors at prices favorable to the company; our dependence on
single-source or a limited number of suppliers; our ability to protect our
proprietary technology; market conditions influencing prices or pricing; an
adverse outcome in litigation, claims and other actions, and potential
litigation, claims and other actions by or against us; technological changes
and introductions of new competing products; the current recession; terrorist
attacks or acts of war, particularly given the acts of terrorism against the
United States on September 11, 2001 and subsequent military responses by the
United States; ability to retain key personnel; changes in market demand;
exchange rates; productivity; weather; and market and economic conditions in
the areas of the world in which we operate and market are products. 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.