Jim Benson’s new gig

The Wall Street Journal reported in this morning’s issue that Jim Benson, founder of SpaceDev, is creating a new space tourism-oriented startup, Benson Space Company (BSC). (The Journal requires a subscription, but you may be able to read the article for free here). Benson is stepping down as chairman and CTO of SpaceDev to start the new venture, which will purchase Dream Chaser spacecraft from SpaceDev and operate them for suborbital and, later, orbital space tourism. Benson told the Journal that he has already raised an initial round of $1 million with “less than a dozen phone calls”; he eventually plans to raise on the order of $50 million to build and test Dream Chaser. (See also Alan Boyle’s coverage of the development at MSNBC’s Cosmic Log.)

A press release announcing the formation of BSC just hit the wires early this morning, and the company’s web site is also up, including a form to reserve a seat on a Dream Chaser flight. Ticket prices will be between $200,000 and $300,000, which would put BSC in the high range of planned suborbital space tourism operators.

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