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What’s New at Rocketplane ?

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Feb 4, 2006 12:52 am
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Welcome to the latest issue of The Navigator! Find out what’s happening at the Rocketplane® offices through this quarterly newsletter.

Now Accepting Reservations!

The time has come to take your place alongside astronauts and space pioneers. Rocketplane® is now taking reservations to launch civilians into the vast expanse of suborbital space aboard its XP space vehicle. Flights will begin launching in 2007; don’t miss your chance to experience the beauty of Earth from space. To make your reservation now, please visit www.rocketplane.com and click the “Sign Up” button at the top of the page. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Vehicle Updates
Rocketplane® is now in the detailed design phase of the project. Rocket engine propulsion selection and decisions continue at Rocketplane in the third and fourth quarters of 2005. Rocketplane hosted a meeting August 2-4 in Oklahoma City to review and consider all ramifications. Outside experts Dave Crisalli and others were on hand to work out decisions left to be made about the rocket engine. Through the phenomenal effort of Rocketplane, the company’s supporters, and contacts at NASA Johnson Space Center, Rocketplane has secured an RS-88 engine from NASA. Also, high-speed wind tunnel testing is in the works in Wichita, Kansas at the NIAR facility. Spirit Wing Aviation has done a superior job working with Rocketplane as modifications to the vehicle take place in real time. Metal has been cut, molded, and bent. The wing is ready to be tested to failure for analysis. Significant analysis and testing is underway in preparation for the Critical Design Review scheduled for the second quarter of 2006.

Out and About

In October 2005, Bob Seto, Rocketplane®’s Vice President/Engineering and Analysis, addressed the Oklahoma Pilots Association at the organization’s monthly meeting. Seto’s presentation was covered in depth in the November newsletter of the OPA.

Also in October, John Herrington, Vice President/Flight Operations, and Brenda Golden, Human Resources Manager, attended the 30th Annual National Congress of American Indians Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both were honored by the National Native American Veterans Memorial Board and filmed for a documentary about Native Americans serving in the U.S. military.

In addition, Executive Vice President David Urie made a presentation on Rocketplane’s progress at the National Institute of Aerospace in Virginia, and John Herrington gave a presentation at the National Science Foundation. In November, Herrington was a keynote motivational speaker at the World Indigenous People’s Conference held in New Zealand. Rocketplane hosted a film crew from Japan’s Channel 12 for a feature in that country on our company. Also, State Senator Gilmer Capps, Chair of the State Aerospace and Technology Center, visited Rocketplane, as have distinguished visitors of Marshall Space Flight Center.

Besides those engagements, CEO / President George French has been invited to sit on a NASA council to aid in the development of spaceports throughout the nation. Additionally, Business Development Director Charles Lauer is working with the state of New Mexico to aid in their new endeavor to create a spaceport in the Mojave Desert.

Several news sources picked up stories concerning Rocketplane’s activities in the fourth quarter of 2005. The Journal Record, the business resource paper of Oklahoma, did a full feature spread on Rocketplane that included news about partners Space Shot, Inc. and the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority.

Rocketplane® and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement

Rocketplane Limited, Inc. has secured an RS-88 engine from NASA through the combined efforts of Rocketplane®, its supporters, and contacts at NASA Johnson Space Center. NASA is loaning the rocket engine to Rocketplane as part of an innovative industry partnership program.
“With NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the support of local, state and federal governments, we hope to develop a safe, affordable and reusable spaceplane by integrating established technologies, such as the RS-88 engine,” said Bob Seto, Rocketplane’s vice president of engineering systems and analysis.

Rocketplane and NASA’s Johnson Space Center signed a Space Act Agreement for use of an RS-88 engine in tests of its Rocketplane XP vehicle for three years. Rocketplane will provide NASA with design, test and operational information from the development.

The Rocketplane XP Vehicle is a four-seat, fighter-sized vehicle fitted with a delta wing and a V-tail, which provide good flight characteristics both sub-sonically and supersonically. The cabin environment is designed to maintain a comfortable temperature and pressure for the occupants while providing an excellent view of the Earth from space. The craft completed a preliminary design review in March 2005, and it is currently in the detail design phase.

The RS-88 engine is capable of 50,000 pounds of thrust. It was designed and built by The Boeing Company’s former Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power unit for use on Lockheed Martin’s Pad Abort Demonstration vehicle. In 2003, NASA tested the RS-88 in a series of 14 hot-fire tests, resulting in 55 seconds of successful engine operation.

Design Team Moves to Guthrie Facility

In early December 2005, 18 Rocketplane staff members and long-term contractors made the move from Oklahoma City to Guthrie, Okla. These members of the design team are working in the airport hangar at the Guthrie/Edmond Regional Airport, facilitating detailed design drawings of the XP space vehicle.
The team’s work benefits from the move in several ways. Work rates are accelerated due to close teamwork with the staff of Rocketplane partner Sprit Wing Aviation, the company’s manufacturer. In addition, the move brings the team closer to the vehicle’s Learjet fuselage.

These 18 employees will not be the only ones working at the Guthrie location. Rocketplane is working in conjunction with the cities of Guthrie and Edmond to continue infrastructure completion of an additional portion of the hangar to house up to 18 more individuals at that location.

Guthrie and Edmond officials, as well as airport management, have been generously supportive of the move of employees to the airport and the renovation of the hangar. Guthrie and Edmond are home to many Rocketplane employees, who enjoy the many amenities the area has to offer.

Rocketplane® Signs Marketing Agreements

Rocketplane has signed and finalized marketing agreements with three organizations: Incredible Adventures, Pure Galactic, and Agencia Wallis.

Incredible Adventures
Rocketplane Limited, Inc. and Incredible Adventures, Inc. have finalized their agreement for the marketing and revenue seats on the Rocketplane XP. Both companies are taking reservations for Rocketplane’s suborbital spaceflight experience, slated to launch in 2007.

“We’ve been looking for a company capable of fulfilling the space dreams of our clients for more than a decade. We’re confident we’ve found that company in Rocketplane Limited, Inc.,” said Incredible Adventures President Jane Reifert. “I’ve met the engineers. I’ve seen their facilities. It takes a lot to impress me, but the Rocketplane team has.”

Rocketplane is developing a commercial space vehicle that will depart from the Oklahoma Spaceport and take space travelers more than 50 miles above Earth, where they can view the planet from space and experience the sensation of weightlessness for up to four minutes. Incredible Adventures has been a leader in promoting the development of space tourism and will add the suborbital flights to its catalogue of one-of-a-kind holidays for thrill-seekers.

“Incredible Adventures is a world-renowned leader in marketing high-adventure programs,” said George French, President and CEO of Rocketplane Limited, Inc. “We have been very impressed with the quality of work they perform and look forward to a long and plentiful relationship with Incredible Adventures.”

For more information contact Jane Reifert, President of Incredible Adventures, at jane@incredible-adventures.com, 800-644-7382 / 941-346-2603, or visit www.incredible-adventures.com.

Pure Galactic
Innovative UK travel company Pure Vacations has joined forces with Rocketplane to offer trips into space for civilian astronauts through its specialist brand, Pure Galactic. Pure Galactic will provide adventurous travelers with the world’s first commercial space flights within the next two years. Passengers will travel 100km above the Earth to experience the sensation of weightlessness for up to four minutes and enjoy the most spectacular views of their home planet.

“This is no longer a dream,” said Wesley Baker, CEO of Pure Galactic. “Suborbital space tourism is the next step for our company, and this new partnership with Rocketplane is just the start of our space tourism program.”

For more information, contact Wesley Baker at 01227-264264 or wesley@puregalactic.com or log on to www.puregalactic.com.

Agencia Wallis Agreement
The standing agreement between Rocketplane and Agencia Wallis of Venezuela is moving in to development of joint marketing projects in the near future. Agencia Wallis has been a leader in Latin American travel for several years.

“We are thrilled to have Agencia Wallis helping us make our spaceflight experience possible for Latin American citizens,” said George French, President of Rocketplane Limited, Inc. “We look forward to a long and healthy working relationship.”

For more information, go to www.wallistravel.com or call Alberto Wallis at 95-511359-6-VT-8.

Employee Spotlight

Rocketplane® welcomed two new employees for this quarter: Christine Lucas and Jeff Wyrick.
Christine Lucas joined Rocketplane as the Planner/Scheduler on the XP Program after working for Gulfstream for a number of years in Production Control and Material Control. Christine is a native Oklahoman who graduated from Edmond Memorial High School and worked her way up the ranks from Program Administrator to Master Production Schedule Analyst and Assembly Integrated Production Team Lead.

Jeff Wyrick is the lead GN&C Engineer for Rocketplane, direct from the United Space Alliance in Houston, Texas. Jeff worked as a Space Shuttle Flight Controller for the United Space Alliance and has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was the Lead Guidance and Control Officer for the STS 113, among others, which was the shuttle flight on which Commander John B. Herrington flew. Jeff has been assigned to work in the Engineering and Analysis Department, overseeing not only GN&C but other systems as well. We welcome both of our new employees to the fold.

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