Company makes bid for space travel

Nov 17, 2005

Astronauts and passengers can go to space by 2008 if the company making the spaceship gets the funding, company officials said.

Jim Benson, chief executive officer of SpaceDev, said all it needs is $20 million in funding to develop the Dream Chaser, a NASA concept designed in the 1980s but never built, New Scientist reports.

The funding would pay for suborbital flights and an additional $100 million would enable Dream Chaser to take six people to the International Space Station by 2010.

The Dream Chaser is billed as a safer alternative than today's space ships.

It doesn't carry heavy cargo and uses a different fuel than the cryogenic fuel used in Columbia and Discovery. Columbia was destroyed in 2003 because of a problem with the foam insulation needed to utilize the cryogenic fuel.

Dream Chaser will use a mixture of nitrous oxide and rubber as fuel.

SpaceDev has worked with NASA before in looking at different spaceship ideas.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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