SpaceDev’s Hybrid Rocket Technology Selected For JPL’s Mars Ascent Vehicle Concept Study

SpaceDev, the world’s first publicly traded commercial space
exploration and development company, announced that it has been awarded a
subcontract by Boeing Space & Communications to participate in the
Mars Ascent Vehicle Concept Study for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
in Pasadena, Calif.
Boeing Space & Communications was awarded one of three
contracts from JPL to develop concepts for a small rocket that will lift
science samples gathered by NASA’s Mars Sample Return mission and support
their return to Earth.
SpaceDev is one of two companies selected by Boeing
Space & Communications to participate in the Concept Study.

“This is another key win for SpaceDev, as we move our hybrid rocket motor
technology from R&D toward a variety of SpaceDev products that can produce
revenues,” stated Jim Benson, chairman and CEO of SpaceDev.
“We have no doubt
that a strong market demand is developing for hybrid rocket motors, and this
contract, coupled with our other hybrid initiatives, increases the potential
follow-on business for SpaceDev.”

Design of the Mars Ascent Vehicle propulsion system is a key part of the
Mars Sample Return mission; as such, SpaceDev’s leadership in the hybrid
rocket motor arena is being tapped for part of this important study.
SpaceDev team consists of former General Dynamics engineers who helped design
and build the commercial Atlas launch vehicle and its Centaur upper stage.
The SpaceDev propulsion team also consists of former American Rocket Company
(AMROC) and former JPL propulsion experts, providing a fertile combination of
experience and ideas.
SpaceDev has been successfully building and firing its
safe, clean, affordable nitrous oxide-based hybrid rocket motors since last

“We are encouraged by the opportunities and growth taking place right now
in our industry.
Everywhere we look, we see large companies and even our
government utilizing concepts SpaceDev has been developing for the past four
years,” stated Charles Lloyd, CFO and COO of SpaceDev.
“As the
commercialization of space begins to unfold, we intend to be there by building
our current relationships, creating new ones, and increasing our company’s
presence in the areas in which we compete.”

Benson further stated, “Several months ago, when we heard there were
problems using traditional liquid and solid propulsion systems, we approached
JPL with the suggestion that JPL examine SpaceDev’s unique hybrid rocket
motors for use on the surface of Mars.
Our hybrid rocket motor technology
might be what JPL needs, and we seized the opportunity.
This is an historic
attempt to get part of Mars back to Earth, and we are extremely pleased to be
part of the team looking for ways to accomplish this task.”

The three study contracts awarded to Boeing Space & Communications,
Lockheed Martin and TRW are valued at $300,000 each
and are to be performed over a six-month period.
These studies will provide
independent concepts and technology roadmaps to develop a Mars Ascent Vehicle
for the Mars Sample Return mission.
Concepts emerging from these studies will
contribute to the final specifications for the eventual Mars Ascent Vehicle.

Founded in 1997, SpaceDev is the world’s first publicly traded commercial
space exploration and development company.
SpaceDev designs, assembles, tests
and markets affordable space systems including sophisticated micro-satellites,
hybrid rocket-based orbital maneuvering and orbital transfer vehicles (MTVs),
and safe hybrid rocket motors for sub-orbital space tourism applications.
SpaceDev is working with Sea Launch to explore offering low-cost launches for
secondary payloads, and has been working with the Air Force to develop orbital
maneuvering vehicles and kick motors for micro-satellites.

JPL manages the Mars Exploration Program for NASA’s Office of Space
Science, Washington D.C.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena.

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company’s business and future prospects and other similar statements that do
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For further information, please contact:
Elyesse Concepcion of eConcep
Public Relations, +1-949-642-7700, for SpaceDev; or Investor Relations,
SpaceDev, +1-858-375-2062.