SpaceDev was chosen as the exclusive provider of specific components for the Scaled rocket motor for world-renowned aircraft designer Burt Rutan’s revolutionary manned SpaceShipOne. The SpaceDev hybrid propulsion system, which is safe, low-cost and the largest of its kind in the world, burns a combination of rubber and laughing gas.

For almost two years, SpaceDev has been competing with another rocket motor subcontractor for the exclusive contract to provide components for the propulsion system to Scaled Composites, Rutan’s company.

“I am extremely proud of my engineering team at SpaceDev for successfully developing this elegant but simple system, and we are delighted to be part of helping make affordable access to space a reality,” said Jim Benson, founding Chairman and Chief Executive of SpaceDev.

“SpaceDev did a great job,” said Burt Rutan. “Their engineers were highly competent, worked well with the Scaled team, stayed on schedule and met or exceeded all requirements. We are anxious to start powered, manned flights with SpaceDev’s help.”

“When the call came from Burt, the entire SpaceDev team was huddled around the conference room table. After Burt explained the process of selection, he announced that SpaceDev won the competition and a round of enthusiastic cheers went up to the sound of popping champagne corks,” Benson added proudly.

SpaceDev will now be the sole supplier of operating components for Scaled’s hybrid motor. SpaceDev’s highly innovative hybrid rocket motor technology uses nitrous oxide (N2O) or laughing gas, as an oxidizer, and hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), or rubber, as the fuel. Both of these are inexpensive and can be safely transported and stored without special precautions, and will not explode when combined, thus making the ideal propulsion system for manned space vehicles.

Rutan’s SpaceShipOne is competing for the worldwide X-Prize, a $10 million purse to be awarded to the first person or team to fly a privately-funded suborbital spaceship 100km (62 miles) to the edge of space, return safely, and then fly again within two weeks. The manned spaceship must be capable of carrying three individuals. The goal of the X-Prize is to make space travel safe, frequent and affordable for the general public.

Conference Call Scheduled

SpaceDev has scheduled a conference call to discuss private space flight. To participate, please call the following numbers:

From the U.S. and Canada: 1-800-915-4836

Participants are asked to call the above numbers 5-10 minutes prior to the starting time.

A telephone replay of this call will be available from 2:00 p.m. on Monday, September 22, 2003 through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 6, 2003. Please call 1-800-428-6051 and use the access number 307418.

About SpaceDev

SpaceDev (OTCBB: SPDV – News) creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and solutions to government and commercial enterprises. For more information, visit

ABOUT Scaled Composites

For information, visit