A second chance

When I saw Jim Benson at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference in the DC area on Tuesday, he said his company, Benson Space Company (BSC), would have an announcement to make on Wednesday. What would it be about? “You heard about the person recently who had to give up the flight he won?” he said.

It turns out the AP had the story on Tuesday, reporting that BSC had found a way to give Brian Emmitt a flight to space. Emmitt, as reported last month, had to give up a suborbital flight he won in an Oracle contest because he couldn’t afford the taxes on it. BSC, according to the AP article, will hire Emmitt as a consultant. He will be a “test passenger” when BSC’s vehicle, Dream Chaser, is ready for commercial service (as soon as late 2008, Benson says), and will provide feedback to the company in return. Since the flight isn’t being awarded as a prize, Emmitt won’t owe taxes on it—just on what BSC pays him.

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