UNIONVILLE, Conn. Aug. 27, 2002–The launch of
the world’s first amateur space rocket is less than one month away.
The Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT), a group of space
enthusiasts, has been given final clearance for a September launch by
the FAA and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

“All systems are go,” announced Program Manager Jerry Larson.
“We’re more confident than ever, after our complete system checkout
and mission launch rehearsals in June. Our obstacles then were high
winds and narrow launch windows. Historically, the winds are less in
September. And our launch windows are now much broader. I like our
odds for making history.”

The PRIMERA rocket, designed and built by CSXT, is the most
powerful amateur rocket ever created. Weighing 511 pounds, and 17 feet
tall, the rocket will be propelled to well over Mach 5 in just 15
seconds — breaking CSXT’s previous speed record of 3,205 MPH — and
will reach space in only one minute and thirty seconds.

During atmosphere re-entry, the rocket will separate into two
sections, and will be brought safely back to earth by two specially
designed Rocketman parachutes. The landing point will be approximately
25 miles downrange, with a total flight time of about 10 minutes. A
graphical overview of the rocket’s flight into space is available on
the CSXT Web site: www.civilianspace.com.

Ky Michaelson, CSXT’s founder and Program Director, said, “The
rocket is ready, and so are we. This is the culmination of years of
work by a wonderful team.” Michaelson went on to say, “Worldwide, some
25 amateur teams have been trying to reach space, but we continue to
lead the way. And this flight is just the beginning. We’re about to
unveil a truly out-of-this world mission. Stay tuned.”

The technology on board the rocket is impressive. “Our avionics
system is more advanced than any system ever developed for an amateur
launch,” said Eric Knight, Avionics Manager and CSXT Program
Co-Leader. Knight went on to say, “Our system includes multiple
tracking systems and event-timing computers — even a live color
television transmitter that will broadcast throughout the flight. The
images from space should be truly spectacular.” Much of the avionics
system is based on amateur “ham” radio technology. Knight and many of
the CSXT crew are avid hams.

The rocket launch is scheduled to occur during mid-to-late
September in the Nevada desert. For safety and security reasons, the
FAA has requested that the exact date and location not be announced
until just prior to the flight.

Media Requests & Mission Status Reports

Media requests for interviews and promotional materials should be
directed to Ky Michaelson at 1-800-732-4883. Licensed video clips will
be available to media outlets immediately after the conclusion of the
space flight. To be on the distribution list of post-event materials,
contact Ky Michaelson. Mission status reports are available on the
CSXT Web site: www.civilianspace.com.