It's safe to say that although he's no longer part of the SpaceDev team, James Benson's future is in the stars. Just last month, Benson resigned his post as chief technology officer and chairman of Poway-based SpaceDev, the publicly owned space exploration and development company he founded, to form a new space company.
Benson started the trend of successful high-tech entrepreneurs moving into the space development arena. He founded the nonprofit Space Development Institute and introduced the $5,000 Benson Prize for Amateur Discovery of Near Earth Objects. Since 1998, SpaceDev has been awarded approximately $15 million in competitive government contracts to develop microsatellite hardware, software, systems, mission control and operations software, and propulsion products.
Benson's new venture will focus on the marketing of commercial space tourism and he plans to utilize SpaceDev and the SpaceDev Dream Chaser spaceship in his new endeavor. He will remain as a member of SpaceDev's board of directors.