Jim Benson

Benson Space Company, founded by Jim Benson in 2006, intends to be first to market in the emerging billion dollar commercial space tourism market, offering the safest, lowest cost sub-orbital, astronaut-making space flights. Mr. Benson is also the founder and director of SpaceDev, Inc., a publicly owned space exploration and development company headquartered in Poway, California, near San Diego. Upon founding SpaceDev in 1997, Jim Benson started the trend of successful high tech entrepreneurs moving into the space development arena. SpaceDev is a public company, incorporated 1997. The trading symbol for SpaceDev is SPDV. Over the last several years, SpaceDev has been profitable and highly successful in designing and manufacturing innovative, new, low-cost, advanced space technologies for its government and commercial customers. While SpaceDev is a space technology developer, Benson Space Company is a space systems operator. A similar situation exists between satellite manufacturers like Alcatel and Boeing (SpaceDev), and operators like EchoStar and Inmarsat (Benson Space). After a highly successful career as a computer industry entrepreneur, Mr. Benson took on the challenge of starting an innovative space commercialization venture. SpaceDev combines Mr. Benson’s lifelong interests in science, technology and astronomy with his successful business experience. Mr. Benson and SpaceDev are developing the world's first private sector enterprise to profitably explore and develop space beyond earth orbit. SpaceDev's mission is to help "make space happen" for all of humanity, through the development of a comprehensive private space program, by delivering innovative, affordable, practical and responsive space technologies, products and solutions to SpaceDev's government and commercial customers, while creating value for SpaceDev stockholders. In 2004, unique hybrid rocket motors developed by SpaceDev powered Paul Allen's SpaceShipOne to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. In 2003, SpaceDev launched this country's smallest, low-cost, high performance satellite, CHIPSat for NASA. CHIPSat is a suitcase-size science microsatellite that is also the world's first orbiting Internet node, and the fist satellite whose mission control and operations center is any laptop computer located anywhere in the world. Mr. Benson spent thirty years associated with the computer field, spanning the era from the introduction of modern mainframe computers, to the dominance of the computer industry by microcomputers. Mr. Benson invented modern full text computer indexing and searching in 1984, and exploited the new field through companies he founded: Compusearch and ImageFast of McLean, Virginia. Mr. Benson is bringing the microcomputer style of technology revolution to the space industry which has been long bogged down in the old bureaucratic “mainframe” way of thinking. Benson is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Space Authority, was named 2005 Alumnus of the Year at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and is one of the "50 People to Watch" named by San Diego Magazine. He founded the non-profit Space Development Institute, and introduced the Benson Prize for Amateur Discovery of Near Earth Objects. He is Vice-Chairman and private sector representative on NASA's national Space Grant Review Panel. Mr. Benson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, in his home town.

Broadcast 680 (Special Edition)

Jim Benson, founder of Benson Space Company, return for this Space Show program. Jim started our discussion by introducing us to Benson Space Company and the Dreamchaser which is modeled after the HL-20 spaceplane that Nasa Langley was designing and building. Jim took us through the history of the HL-20, its earlier Soviet Union counterparts and tests and much more. Benson Space actually has all design information from the HL-20, including the full size mock up of the vehicle.

Broadcast 427 (Special Edition)

Jim Benson, CEO of SpaceDev, returned to the Space Show for this special program and update. We began our discussion with Jim providing us with the details of the SpaceDev merger that is in process with Starsys. This is an exciting development for SpaceDev and the space community. Also, we learned about SpaceDev plans to apply for representation on American Stock Exchange, another milestone for the company and the developing space industry. We also discussed the RTM and NASA architecture and alternatives that SpaceDev has proposed.

Broadcast 330 (Special Edition)

Jim Benson returned to The Space Show to update us on SpaceDev and to bring us other important news regarding the alt.space community. Mr. Benson began the interview by responding my question about young college grads going into the alt.space world for careers. He said they were interviewing lots of engineering applicants, that SpaceDev was hiring several engineers and that the available talent pool was growing and was very high quality.

Broadcast 271 (Special Edition)

Jim Benson, CEO of SpaceDev ,returned to The Space Show to talk about the success of SpaceShipOne, the SpaceDev rocket engine, the new plans for business and growth with SpaceDev, and more. He was asked for his opinion on converting the Space Shuttle to a heavy lift vehicle, on returning to the Moon and going to Mars, how SpaceDev hires engineers for the company and if he feels if space advocacy organizations have been an important contributor to helping businesses like SpaceDev get through the regulatory hurdles.

Broadcast 263 (Special Edition)

Jim Benson, Founder and CEO of SpaceDev, returned to the Space Show for this program. Mr. Benson discussed the Space Dev contribution to the rocket motor used in the X-Prize flights by Space Ship One and the importance of this flight. We discussed many other related topics including the newly obtained financing by SpaceDev, how the company obtained the financing, and the attitude of Wall Street investors toward SpaceDev and commercial space companies. Mr.

Broadcast 186 (Special Edition)

Jim Benson, founder and CEO of SpaceDev, a publicly traded space development and exploration company, was the guest for this edition of The Space Show. Mr. Benson discussed SpaceDev projects and its long term plans for its private space program through 2015 and longer. We talked about the importance of having a business background when managing a space company, we talked about the early history of SpaceDev and the barriers put in the SpaceDev path by NASA. My observation was that these barriers forced Jim and SpaceDev to develop their private sector plans for company growth and prosperity.

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