Geoff Sheerin, president of Canadian
Arrow, and Chirinjeev Kathuria announced that they have joined
forces to form a new corporation called Planetspace that will
complete construction and testing of its first suborbital rocket,
called the Canadian Arrow. The goal of the company is to make space
flight available to the public within 24 months.
Planetspace expects to fly almost
2,000 new astronauts in the first five years of flying and generate
revenue from suborbital flights of $200 million (U.S. dollars) in
the fifth year. Fares will start at $250,000 for a suborbital
flight, including 14 days of training.
Canadian Arrow has completed a
number of increasingly powerful engine tests, as well as a
successful drop test of the space capsule and recovery system.
Canadian Arrow's most recent engine test achieved 50,000 pounds of
thrust, demonstrating Canadian Arrow's ability to achieve suborbital
flight and making it the most powerful liquid propellant rocket
engine ever built and tested in Canada. Canadian Arrow has also
filed for patents on its rocket vehicle and engine modifications.
Kathuria is no stranger to privately
funded space flight. He was a founding director of MirCorp, the
company that made history on April 4, 2000, when it launched the
world's first privately funded manned space program and signed up
Dennis Tito to be Earth's first space tourist or "citizen explorer."
MirCorp was a joint venture with Rocket & Science Corporation
Energia. RSC Energia launched the first satellite, Sputnik; sent the
first man to orbit the Earth, Yuri Gagarin; built the Mir space
station; and is a major partner in the International Space Station.
Like Sheerin, Kathuria has had a
love of space since childhood. He has had measurable success in
building a number of innovative businesses, including American
Teleradiology, Nighthawks and The X-Stream Networks Inc.
Sheerin says that Planetspace has
entered final discussions with partners who will establish a reality
television show set in space, and with a company to hold an
international lottery with space flight prizes.
Canadian Arrow has been granted
permission to use Cape Rich, located on the tip of Canadian Forces
Meaford Range and Training Area, for rocket test flights. Cape Rich
is an ideal location for launch and recovery in the fresh waters of
The first test to be conducted at
Cape Rich will be of the launch pad abort system. This is a critical
safety system designed to pull the crew to safety should there be a
problem on the launch pad.
"We are very pleased to have gained
permission to use the Meaford Range for our first rocket flights,
said Sheerin, president and chief executive officer of Planetspace.
"This location is perfect for our operations, and we look forward to
a launch later this year."
Canadian Arrow will be working
closely with the Launch Safety Office at Transport Canada to secure
a launch license for the pending escape tower test. Transport Canada
will also coordinate with local police and coast guard during the
planning and execution of the launch. Also on hand to recover the
rocket components from the water will be Cross Current Divers of
London, Ontario. Cross Current Divers was instrumental in the
successful recovery of the crew cabin (space capsule) after a drop
test from 8,000 feet into Lake Ontario last year.
"We will also be working closely
with the appropriate officials to plan for Canadian Arrow's first
unmanned launch into space in 2006, and if all goes as planned, Cape
Rich will play a pivotal part in Canadian history over the next few
years," Sheerin said.
Canadian Arrow continues to develop
the concept of a launch from an offshore barge since this would open
up the possibility of flights near other locations in the Great
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Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria,
Chirinjeev Kathuria, M.D., M.B.A.,
is chairman of Planetspace. He has measurable success in building
truly innovative companies including:
- The X-Stream Networks Inc. --
Kathuria was a director and a major shareholder and helped pioneer
the free Internet service providers concept. The X-Stream Network
was one of the fastest growing Internet service providers in the
world and became the third largest ISP in the United Kingdom. The
X-Stream Networks was sold for $75 million in cash and stock and
merged with LibertySurf. The combined company went public on the
Paris Stock Exchange for $2.9 billion in March 2000.
- MirCorp -- Kathuria was
instrumental in helping build the company and is a former founding
director. MirCorp created world history on April 4, 2000, when the
company became the world's first company to privately launch and
fund manned space programs. MirCorp signed up Dennis Tito to be
Earth's first space tourist or "citizen explorer." MirCorp was a
joint venture with Rocket & Science Corporation Energia.
- American Teleradiology &
Nighthawks -- Kathuria co-founded American Teleradiology, which
supplies teleradiological services to hospitals and centers 365
days per year around the clock and today is fourth-largest
teleradiology reading company in the United States.
Kathuria, who was born in India, has
lived in Illinois since he was 8 months old. He graduated as
valedictorian from Downers Grove North School. He earned his
bachelor's degree and medical degree from Brown University. He also
holds a master's in business administration from Stanford
Prior to co-founding the companies
listed above, Kathuria helped set up Morgan Stanley's Investment
Banking operations in India and helped develop Arthur D. Little
biotechnology and health care policy practice in Europe.
Kathuria's published papers include
"Biotechnology in the Uncommon Market" and "Segmentation of
aneurysms via connectivity from MRA brain data."
Geoff Sheerin, president and
chief executive officer, Planetspace
Geoff Sheerin is the founder and
president of Canadian Arrow. It is his passion and vision of a
passenger space flight industry, conceived when he was just a
teenager, that brought Canadian Arrow from a small model rocket and
some blueprints to a project that is destined to be a player in an
Sheerin is an industrial designer by
training. Prior to working full time on Canadian Arrow, he invented,
patented, developed and marketed advanced heat transfer equipment
used in cooling large-scale electrical equipment
Sheerin has put years of research
and planning into the Canadian Arrow project. His exceptional
personal knowledge, energy and enthusiasm for space, combined with
strong business ability, have allowed him to bring together a team
that has been working to develop a rocket capable of suborbital
flight. In 2003, Canadian Arrow opened the doors on the Canadian
Arrow Space Centre in London, Ontario.
[News release from
Canadian Arrow and