Saturday, October 11, 2008
Jim Benson, RIP
Jim Benson, space entrepreneur and founder of the commercial space company SpaceDev, passed away Friday after battling a brain tumor at age 63. I recall first meeting Jim Benson at the 1997 Space Studies Institute conference, where he was investigating business opportunities in the space field after recently retiring and selling off a couple of computer related companies he founded. Benson's company was originally founded to carry out a prospecting mission to a Near Earth Asteroid, but later shifted into launch vehicle and propulsion development. SpaceDev provided the hybrid engines which propelled SpaceShipOne on its pioneering human spaceflights.