|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2002
TRANSORBITAL ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL MOON TEST LAUNCH;
SAN DIEGO – TransOrbital, Inc. and International Space Company (ICS) Kosmotras today announced a “perfect launch” of TransOrbital’s commercial lunar mission “Trailblazer” structural test article satellite at 8pm, Moscow time. The launch represents a major milestone in TransOrbital’s much-anticipated routine lunar delivery service. This test article allowed TransOrbital to test the interface between TransOrbital and ISC Kosmotras, the interface between the spacecraft and the Dnepr launch vehicle, downlink telemetry, and various aspects of the launch process.
Today’s launch, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, of the “Trailblazer” into low Earth orbit was pronounced a total success by TransOrbital president, Dennis Laurie. The mission was designed to test rocket separation, downlink telemetry, spacecraft orientation and mass properties in preparation for the formal lunar launch.
Vladimir A. Andreev, Director General of ICS Kosmotras, said, “We are excited about teaming with TransOrbital’s first commercial development of the Moon. The ICS Kosmotras Dnepr LV SS-18 ICBM provides a proven cost effective technology for lunar launches.”
TransOrbital is on target to begin routine Moon travel, starting in October 2003. Laurie stated, “Significant commercial demand exists for high definition (HD) video, lunar mapping, data storage, scientific research, communications, and data archiving. Many corporate marketers see their products associated with the first commercial missions to the Moon.”
“Additionally, there is worldwide demand from private citizens to send personal items such as photographs, legal documents, business cards, burial ashes, and jewelry to the Moon.”
TransOrbital is the first and only commercial company licensed by the U.S. Department of State and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for private sector flights to the Moon.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke noted visionary and renowned writer, praised today’s mission and commented, “All good wishes on TransOrbital’s successful “TrailBlazer” launch.”
Support for the Trailblazer program has been provided by a number of companies, including Lunar Enterprise Corporation and Space Age Publishing.
(PROJECT PHOTOS AND HEADSHOTS AVAILABLE IN ELECTRONIC FILE FORMAT)
About TransOrbital, Inc, (www.transorbital.net)
About International Space Company (ICS) Kosmotras (www.kosmotras.com/ru)
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