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Rocketplane Kistler’s Future

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:02 am
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Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) faces busy days ahead as the company’s future will be shaped in the coming weeks.

Due to financial problems regarding their K-1 reusable rocket, they got a 30 day warning from NASA about a possible termination of the COTS contract.

About one year ago, in August 2006, Rocketplane Kistler was besides SpaceX the second company to be picked in NASA’s COTS program, which goal it is to secure resupply of the ISS after the Shuttle decommissioning in 2010. RpK was then awarded $207 millions to finish their already partly constructed K-1 reusable two-stage rocket.

It will be difficult to raise the missing funds during the next 30 days but offials of Rocketplane Kistler are optimistic to succeed. Without the money from COTS the K-1 would probably again be dead as it was after Kistler’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection call in 2003.

Rocketplane Kistler has to raise a total of $500 millions to fulfill the next step of the COTS contract.

Rocketplane Kistler’s other business segment are the suborbital flights with their planned Rocketplane XP. While it was silent the last months about that spacecraft, RpK now announced that they changed the whole configuration of the vehicle.

They want to show the new Rocketplane XP during the X-Prize Cup in October to the public.

In the meantime you can already watch a teaser from Rocketplane Kistler under http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF81J7mKDxc

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