ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Space Adventures, Ltd., the
world's leading space experiences company, announced today a contract with
Prodea, a private investment firm founded by the Ansari family, and a separate
contract with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA), to
develop a fleet of suborbital spaceflight vehicles for commercial use
globally. This joint venture will fully develop and provide a set of turnkey
operational space tourism systems that include the delivery of several
suborbital launch vehicles to multiple global locations.
Prodea co-founders, Hamid, Anousheh and Amir Ansari are best known as the
title sponsors of the Ansari X Prize, the $10 million (USD) prize that was
awarded to Mojave Aerospace Ventures, funded by Paul Allen, for the
development and successful flight of SpaceShipOne. "Our goal in supporting the
X Prize was to launch a new space industry through the introduction of
commercial suborbital spaceflights. We partnered with Space Adventures because
they have proven that there is a market for space tourism by having been the
first company to fly a private citizen to space, and remains today the only
company to have actually taken tourists to space," said Anousheh Ansari, a
true space visionary and an outspoken advocate of commercial space travel.
"The Ansari X Prize inspired and enabled the future of private
spaceflights by proving that the necessary technology can be developed
commercially," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. Both
Mrs. Ansari and Mr. Anderson agreed, "Our visions for opening the space
frontier are completely aligned. This joint venture will enable millions of
people to realize their dreams of spaceflight."
The suborbital space transportation system has been designed by
Myasishchev Design Bureau, a leading Russian aerospace organization which has
developed a wide-array of high performance aircraft and space systems.
Explorer, as it has been named, will have the capacity to transport up to five
people to space and is designed to optimize the customer experience of space
travel, while maintaining the highest degree of safety.
"The design plans for Explorer have been perfected over the years and we,
at Space Adventures, along with Prodea, have the utmost confidence that this
joint venture will enable operations of the world's first commercial
suborbital spaceflights," said Mr. Anderson.
"After much consideration and examination of the FSA's plans for
suborbital vehicles, given their successful 45-year human spaceflight history
and their clear world leadership role in the operations of commercial space
activities, I feel completely confident in Explorer. This vehicle is being
developed by a group of the most qualified designers and engineers in the
world that have the most experience, the highest safety standards and are
responsible for the most reliable and longest serving manned spacecraft in the
world," said Mrs. Ansari.
Additionally, Space Adventures also announced that an agreement had been
reached between Space Adventures and FSA which confirms FSA's oversight and
supervision in the development process. "As they have demonstrated in many
past efforts, the Russian space agency's commitment to this new and pioneering
project will expedite its eventual success," said Mr. Anderson.
About Space Adventures:
Space Adventures, the first and only company to have successfully launched
private explorers to space, is headquartered in Arlington, Va. with offices in
Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such
as orbital spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, commercial
missions around the moon, Zero-Gravity and MiG flights, spaceflight
qualification programs, cosmonaut training, and reservations on future
suborbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board comprises Apollo 11
moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot)
Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance, Byron Lichtenberg, Pierre
Thuot and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott. For more information, please visit
Prodea is about innovation. As a fully funded and self-contained entity,
we choose to engage in the organic, start-to-finish development of a small
collection of exceptional ideas. We select businesses with real potential for
profound impact across multiple verticals, leveraging our knowledge,
experience, and world-class network of relationships to bypass traditional
barriers. We collaborate with visionary entrepreneurs determined to
revolutionize their field in the areas of telecom, biomedicine, aerospace,
multimedia, and significant social undertakings. At Prodea, our involvement
extends far beyond providing funds; our emphasis is on the process of building
a relationship with innovators, on working together to turn great ideas into
successful companies. To learn more about Prodea, please visit
Space Adventures, Ltd.
703 524 7172 ext. 544
SOURCE Space Adventures, Ltd.; Prodea