SpaceDev, the world's first commercial space exploration and development company, intends to launch the first privately financed spacecraft to land on another planetary body. SpaceDev is selling rides for scientific instruments to governments and companies to transport their instruments and experiments through deep space to a near Earth asteroid. SpaceDev intends to sell the data acquired by its instruments as commercial products.
Product/Service - Near Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP), Dream Chaser
- Cargo Transportation & Landers
- Commercial Lunar Lander
- Dormant, Acquired
- First launch
The company's first big project was to be the Near Earth Asteroid Prospector, or NEAP, a small innovative commercial spacecraft mission that would have rendezvoused with and landed on a Near Earth Asteroid (NEO), conducted scientific experiments, and claimed the asteroid as private property.
As it turned out however, the company's first success would come a little closer to home, in the form of CHIPSat, the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer microsatellite. SpaceDev built and conducted early orbit operations of the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) microsat, the first to use only the Internet for its communications, for University of California at Berkeley under NASA's University Explorer Program (UNEX). This was followed one year later by supplying the rocket motors that propelled SpaceShipOne into the history books by creating the world's first civilian astronauts and helping Paul Allen win the $10 million Ansari X Prize.
Was acquired by Sierra Nevada Corporation in 2008. Keeping as a separate entry for historical purposes.