Forwarded by: fwestra@...
Original Date: 3 Feb 2000 07:10:11 -0000
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SpaceDev and Boeing to team on commercial deep-space missions
2 February 2000
[usa.gif] SpaceDev' s Space Missions Division and The Boeing
Company's Space and Communications Group have teamed together to
investigate a variety of small, low-cost, deep-space mission
initiatives formulated by SpaceDev.
Technical and corporate staff from both companies will refine
SpaceDev's concept of commercial missions to the Moon, Mars and
near-Earth asteroids, involving micro-spacecraft of 250 kg mass.
The effort also includes a global assessment of the market
potential for such missions, and a technical and programmatic
assessment of launch-vehicle options for such missions.
"I believe that the next major 'New New Thing' will be the
no-holds barred, explosive opening of space by the private sector
and the convergence of space with the Internet, providing huge
amounts of unique content and the largest Internet audience
delivery mechanism to date,'' said Jim Benson, SpaceDev Chairman
Commenting on the agreement with SpaceDev, Rick Stephens, Boeing
vice president and general manager for Reusable Space Systems,
said, "Boeing recognises the potential for the commercial
exploration of space. This collaborative effort will allow us to
substantiate the projected market demand for commercial deep-space
missions and jointly develop future market-driven solutions to
meet this demand.''
SpaceDev has been refining the design of its commercial Near Earth
Asteroid Prospector (NEAP) mission since 1997 and started offering
commercial, fixed-price Mars probe-carrier and Moon orbiter
missions with real-time streaming video last year. In November
1999 the company won a contract from University of California,
Berkeley to design, build, integrate, test and operate the CHIPS
at astronomy micro-spacecraft, NASA's first University-Class
Explorer (UNEX) mission to proceed into the implementation phase.
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