Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2001
Space Media, Inc., a subsidiary of SPACEHAB, Inc. , announced today that its online retail division The Space Store(TM) (http://www.thespacestore.com ) has consigned a Russian Soyuz space capsule to Superior Galleries of Beverly Hills for sale at auction next month.
Superior Galleries (http://www.superiorgalleries.com ) will conduct the auction of the spacecraft as part of its ``Spring Memorabilia Auction,'' to take place May 5-6 at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying. In addition, Icollector.com will conduct real-time global online bidding.
Space Media and The Space Store acquired the rights to sell the 2.8-ton Soyuz artifact from its builder and owner RSC Energia of Korolev, Russia, last year. About the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, the TM-26 capsule still exhibits evidence of its fiery transit from space to Earth. It remains equipped with cosmonaut couches and electronic control panels. Along with the capsule, the new owner of the Soyuz TM-26 will acquire an invitation to attend a Russian space launch and tour Russia's Star City cosmonaut training complex and RSC Energia's facilities in Korolev.
The Soyuz TM-26 launched to Mir on August 5, 1997, with cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyov and Pavel Vinogradov aboard. During their mission, part of the joint U.S.-Russian Shuttle-Mir program, the two cosmonauts performed emergency repairs on Mir following a collision with a Progress resupply vehicle. They returned to Earth in the Soyuz TM-26 on February 19, 1998, logging a total of 198 days in space. In addition to the cosmonauts, U.S. astronauts Michael Foale, David Wolf and Andrew Thomas boarded Mir and the Soyuz TM-26 during this time.
``Providing public access to space artifacts such as the Soyuz TM-26 is one way in which we are responding to widespread public interest in space exploration,'' said Dr. Shelley A. Harrison, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SPACEHAB and Space Media. ``We are especially pleased that the first artifact we have offered for sale is a symbol of U.S.-Russian cooperation in space.''
``On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space and officially ignited the 'space race' with the Russians. Forty years later to the day, The Space Store(TM) is able to offer for sale this historic capsule that was a part of joint American-Russian space exploration efforts,'' said The Space Store President Dayna Justiz.
The Soyuz TM-26 capsule is only the second spacecraft, either U.S. or Russian, ever to be offered for public sale. The first, the Russian Soyuz TM- 10 capsule, was sold at auction in 1993 for $1.65 million. The Soyuz TM-26 is the first Shuttle-Mir spacecraft ever to be offered for sale. (Under the U.S.-Russian Shuttle-Mir program, SPACEHAB logistics modules carried equipment and supplies to Mir on seven space missions from 1996 to 1998 -- see http://www.spacehab.com/mission/mission_index.htm .)
Originally developed in the 1960s to support then-Soviet efforts to land on the moon, the Soyuz played a key role in the U.S.-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz Test Project launched in 1975. Soyuz capsules are launched attached to so-called habitation modules containing crew quarters; these ``stacked'' spacecraft can dock with a space station for up to six months at a time. Accommodating up to three people, the capsules separate from habitation modules for their return flights to Earth.
Recognizing the demand for space-related gear that could be purchased outside of NASA space centers, former Houston radio personality Justiz and her husband, NASA pilot Dr. Charles Justiz, founded The Space Store in 1997. SMI acquired the business last year. The Space Store carries more than 500 different space items including NASA flight suits for children and adults, space food, space mission patches, space toys and more.
Founded in 1984, with more than $100 million in annual revenue, SPACEHAB, Inc., is a leading provider of commercial space services. The company is the first to develop, own, and operate habitat modules and cargo carriers providing laboratory facilities and resupply capabilities aboard NASA's Space Shuttles. It also supports astronaut training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, builds space-flight trainers and mockups. SPACEHAB's Astrotech subsidiary provides commercial satellite processing services at facilities in Florida and California in support of a range of expendable launch vehicles, including Lockheed Martin's Atlas and Boeing's Delta and Sea Launch rockets. SPACEHAB's newest strategic growth initiative, Space Media, Inc. (SMI(TM) a subsidiary), will bring space into homes and classrooms worldwide with television and Internet broadcasting from the International Space Station.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, whether the company will fully realize the economic benefits under its NASA and other customer contracts, the timing and mix of Space Shuttle missions, the successful development and commercialization of new space assets, technological difficulties, product demand, timing of new contracts, launches and business, market acceptance risks, the effect of economic conditions, uncertainty in government funding, the impact of competition, and other risks detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
CONTACT: Linda Billings, Director of Communications of SPACEHAB, Inc., 202-488-3500, or 888-647-9543, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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