Benson Space Company, founded by Jim Benson in 2006, intends to be first to market in the emerging billion dollar commercial space tourism market, offering the safest, lowest cost sub-orbital, astronaut-making space flights. Mr. Benson is also the founder and director of SpaceDev, Inc., a publicly owned space exploration and development company headquartered in Poway, California, near San Diego. Upon founding SpaceDev in 1997, Jim Benson started the trend of successful high tech entrepreneurs moving into the space development arena. SpaceDev is a public company, incorporated 1997. The trading symbol for SpaceDev is SPDV. Over the last several years, SpaceDev has been profitable and highly successful in designing and manufacturing innovative, new, low-cost, advanced space technologies for its government and commercial customers. While SpaceDev is a space technology developer, Benson Space Company is a space systems operator. A similar situation exists between satellite manufacturers like Alcatel and Boeing (SpaceDev), and operators like EchoStar and Inmarsat (Benson Space). After a highly successful career as a computer industry entrepreneur, Mr. Benson took on the challenge of starting an innovative space commercialization venture. SpaceDev combines Mr. Benson’s lifelong interests in science, technology and astronomy with his successful business experience. Mr. Benson and SpaceDev are developing the world's first private sector enterprise to profitably explore and develop space beyond earth orbit. SpaceDev's mission is to help "make space happen" for all of humanity, through the development of a comprehensive private space program, by delivering innovative, affordable, practical and responsive space technologies, products and solutions to SpaceDev's government and commercial customers, while creating value for SpaceDev stockholders. In 2004, unique hybrid rocket motors developed by SpaceDev powered Paul Allen's SpaceShipOne to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. In 2003, SpaceDev launched this country's smallest, low-cost, high performance satellite, CHIPSat for NASA. CHIPSat is a suitcase-size science microsatellite that is also the world's first orbiting Internet node, and the fist satellite whose mission control and operations center is any laptop computer located anywhere in the world. Mr. Benson spent thirty years associated with the computer field, spanning the era from the introduction of modern mainframe computers, to the dominance of the computer industry by microcomputers. Mr. Benson invented modern full text computer indexing and searching in 1984, and exploited the new field through companies he founded: Compusearch and ImageFast of McLean, Virginia. Mr. Benson is bringing the microcomputer style of technology revolution to the space industry which has been long bogged down in the old bureaucratic “mainframe” way of thinking. Benson is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Space Authority, was named 2005 Alumnus of the Year at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and is one of the "50 People to Watch" named by San Diego Magazine. He founded the non-profit Space Development Institute, and introduced the Benson Prize for Amateur Discovery of Near Earth Objects. He is Vice-Chairman and private sector representative on NASA's national Space Grant Review Panel. Mr. Benson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, in his home town.