SpaceDev Founder Jim Benson Dies

10/10/08Follow @bvbigelow

Jim Benson, an impatient visionary and aerospace entrepreneur, died today of a brain tumor, according to a statement issued by SpaceDev, the San Diego-based company he founded.

SpaceDev developed the hybrid rocket engine used to power SpaceShipOne, the Burt Rutan-designed spacecraft, in its historic 2004 suborbital flight, which won the $10 million Ansari X-Prize. Benson, who was 63, resigned from an operational role at SpaceDev two years ago, but retained a seat on the board.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • http://www.aeanet.org Kevin Carroll

    Jim was way ahead of his time, privatization of space is on its way. 20 years from now, we will all look back at Space Dev, and say “That is where it started’

    Jim, you will be missed

  • http://www.aussieinvader.com Rosco McGlashan

    It is with great sadness that we have today recieved the news of our dear friend Jim Benson’s untimely passing. Jim was a mentor to our Land Speed project and he will be dearly missed… his name will still grace our car on her 1000 mph journey… RIP Jim..

    Rosco McGlashan Australia/and the Aussie Invader team.

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