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Rocketplane Kistler & NASA Sign Space Act Agreement

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:48 pm
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Rocketplane Kistler & NASA Sign Space Act Agreement to assemble the COTS K-1 Space Transportation System in New Orleans.

Rocketplane Kistler, Inc. (RpK) announced today that a Space Act Agreement (SAA) has been established with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to use NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, LA for the assembly of the K-1 Space Transportation System.
The agreement between NASA and RpK will employ up to 200 highly skilled workers at the Michoud facility, with another estimated 100 RpK subcontractor personnel residing in New Orleans during assembly and checkout phases.

Randy Brinkley, President of RpK, said, “The NASA Michoud Assembly Facility has proven itself to have exceptional people and facilities. We are very pleased with the progress being made by the very talented team at Michoud. We hope the K-1 Space Transportation System is the first of many commercial space programs to utilize this unique facility.”

Lockheed Martin will assemble and perform system testing of both first and second stages of the K-1 Space Transportation System at MAF. Additionally, they will assemble and check out both the pressurized and un-pressurized cargo modules. These cargo modules will demonstrate RpK’s ability to safely and reliably berth with the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program.

RPK is well underway in designing and “cutting metal” for the first K-1 vehicle. Liquid oxygen tanks built by Lockheed Martin for both the first and second stages are already at the Michoud facility ready for installation. External panels from Northrop Grumman have arrived and will be soon be readied for assembly.

Bob Simms, Lockheed Martin K-1 Program Manager, added, “We are pleased that RpK selected Michoud as the site for final assembly and checkout of the vehicle, and excited to resume working on a program that is part of America’s space launch future”.
Rocketplane Kistler’s K-1 space transportation system was awarded a NASA COTS Space Act Agreement. RpK will employ its fully reusable K-1 to provide cost-effective and reliable delivery and return of cargo and science payloads to and from the International Space Station. The K-1 is in an advanced stage of development and will be capable of providing end-to-end ISS servicing beginning in early 2009.

About Rocketplane Kistler

Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) brings together two industry-leading makers and future operators of the next-generation orbital and suborbital space transportation vehicles. RpK was formed when Kistler Aerospace Corporation and Rocketplane Limited, Inc. were brought under common ownership. RpK markets the services of the fully reusable, two-stage Kistler K-1 orbital Space Transportation System and the fully reusable, suborbital Rocketplane® XP Spaceplane, both of which are expected to be first to fly in their respective markets. For more information, please visit the website: www.rocketplane.com.

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