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SpaceDev wins missile shield contract

SpaceDev Inc. has  won a contract worth as much as $43 million over the next five years to conduct satellite experiments for the Missile Defense Agency.
/ Source: Reuters

Shares of SpaceDev Inc. rose after the maker of satellites and propulsion systems said on Thursday it won a contract worth as much as $43 million over the next five years to conduct satellite experiments for the Missile Defense Agency.

The Poway, Calif.-based company, which was founded in 1996, said the contract was its largest award to date. Shares closed up 69 percent on Thursday after the deal was announced. Some of that gain was given back on Friday, however.

“The successful completion of each contract phase would result in significantly accelerated growth in sales and revenues for us over the next few years,” said Jim Benson, SpaceDev's founding chairman and chief executive.

SpaceDev also provides the hybrid rocket engine used in Scaled Composites' effort to develop a suborbital spaceship, and it built the microsatellite used for NASA's Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer mission, also known as CHIPSat.