Space Adventures Congratulates Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites on Development of Spaceshipone Sub-orbital Vehicle

Date Released: Friday, April 18, 2003
Space Adventures

As Space Tourism Makes A Step Forward, Space Adventures’ Sub-Orbital Clients Renew Their Commitment To Fly To Space

Arlington,VA, April 18, 2003 – Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space tourism company, congratulates Scaled Composites for their achievement in developing a two-stage sub-orbital reusable launch system, “SpaceShipOne”. The unveiling of the SpaceShipOne, including the aircraft for high-altitude airborne launch (White Knight), a flight-ready manned spacecraft, the rocket propulsion system and other actual flight hardware, took place today at Scaled Composites’ development facilities in Mojave, California.

Although SpaceShipOne is part of an experimental research program to determine the feasibility of low cost access to sub-orbital space, this type of system will have commercial applications including space tourism, after completing government licensing processes.   “Space Adventures is the only company in the world with a significant base of prospective sub-orbital space flight clients,” said Eric Anderson, Space Adventures President and CEO, who was present at the unveiling event in Mojave. “We were there when Scaled Composites debuted the Proteus spacecraft back in 1998, and we look forward to potential collaboration on this project as well as future endeavors.”

Space Adventures’ sub-orbital flights will reach an altitude of over 62 miles (100 km), on a private reusable spacecraft with 1-4 passengers witnessing the breathtaking view of Earth from above and experiencing weightlessness.   “This is a tremendous step forward for the space tourism industry,” said Dennis Tito, world’s first space tourist and Space Adventures client, who also attended the unveiling today. “I wish Scaled Composites continued success with their vehicle, and hope to see more space tourists experience the beauty of sub-orbital and orbital space in the near future.”

According to a study commissioned in 2000 by Space Adventures and conducted by Harris Interactive, the sub-orbital space tourist market could generate revenues of over $1 billion annually as more than 100,000 people per year would sign up for a flight. Space Adventures has over 100 sub-orbital reservations from individual and corporate clients, and is currently accepting bookings for sub-orbital flights departing by 2005 at $98,000 (U.S.) per seat.

Space Adventures is working closely with over a half dozen aerospace companies including XCOR, Cosmopolis XXI and others, to lower the cost of space access and develop reliable, reusable space vehicles for sub-orbital tourist space flights.

“I am very excited to learn about developments in the sub-orbital arena, and eagerly look forward to my future sub-orbital space flight with Space Adventures,” commented Per Wimmer, Space Adventures sub-orbital client