Space Tourism Pioneers, Space Adventures and the Ansari X Prize Title Sponsors, to Provide First Suborbital Spaceflight Tourism Vehicles The Only Company to Have Sent Tourists to Space

Partners with the Leading Space Visionaries to Develop

Suborbital Spaceflight Launch Systems

    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
     About Prodea:
     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
      Stacey Tearne
      Space Adventures, Ltd.
      703 524 7172 ext. 544

SOURCE Space Adventures, Ltd.; Prodea

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