SpaceDev wins Air Force avionics contract

POWAY, Calif., 5 May 2005. SpaceDev has been awarded an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, worth approximately $100,000.

POWAY, Calif., 5 May 2005. SpaceDev has been awarded an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, worth approximately $100,000.

This new project is focused on the development of standardized, miniaturized, lower-cost avionics for small launch vehicles, such as SpaceDev Streaker being developed by the company under a separate Air Force contract. This project will lay the foundation for modern, responsive, and scalable launch vehicle avionics.

SpaceDev's goal is to increase the responsiveness of launch vehicles and to reduce the mass of the avionics. On a medium-size launch vehicle, SpaceDev estimates that the total mass of the avionics is up to 500 kg. If the mass of the avionics is reduced by 30%, roughly two more SpaceDev CHIPSat-type microsats could be launched on the same vehicle. SpaceDev intends to develop miniature, low-cost, highly reliable launch vehicle avionics weighing considerably less than that of existing, heavier systems.

"SpaceDev engineers are very excited about this project because it leverages our work for our NASA and Missile Defense Agency microsatellites, and our microsat standardization contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory," said SpaceDev founding chairman and CEO Jim Benson. "This is one more small but crucial element in our long-term strategy to reduce the cost and turnaround time to launch spacecraft of all types. We are proud of our expanding and successful relationship with the Air Force."

SpaceDev creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and solutions to government and commercial enterprises. SpaceDev's innovations include the design, manufacture, marketing and operation of sophisticated micro- and nano-satellites, hybrid rocket-based orbital Maneuvering and orbital Transfer Vehicles (MoTVs) as well as sub-orbital and orbital hybrid rocket-based propulsion systems for safe human space flight. Upon founding SpaceDev in 1997, Jim Benson started the trend of successful computer entrepreneurs moving into the space development arena. For more information, see www.spacedev.com.

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