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Northrop's riskless space exploration; etc.

Published by spacecowboy on Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:48 pm
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The Northrop CEO waxes poetic about spending public money for exploration: A New Golden Age of Space Exploration – SpaceRef – Nov.9.05.

It would help the cause if Northrop showed some leadership in space development by occasionally taking a risk or two in support of it. As I’ve noted here several times, Northrop could long ago have gotten the fully reusable two-stage Kistler K-1 into the air by making a relatively modest strategic investment in the company. (Northrop built many of the large structural components for the K-1 and that’s probably one of the main reasons the K-1 budget skyrocketed in the first place.) If it had done so, today Northrop would be the world leader in reusable launch vehicles and would own the ISS resupply service. Instead, it simply wrote off its Kistler debt, though it may get a few bucks back when the company’s assets are auctioned off.

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