Headlines > News > Financing woes leave ambitious Forks space commercialization project up in the air

Financing woes leave ambitious Forks space commercialization project up in the air

Published by Cathleen Manville on Wed Feb 2, 2005 11:31 am
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chabot imagePENINSULA DAILY NEWS
by RAUL VASQUEZ

FORKS — The engineers whose dream of privatized space transportation led to an ill-fated quest toward a $10 million prize last year are taking a break.

Eric Meier, vice president of Space Transport Corp., said Tuesday that he and his partner, Phillip Storm, have decided to “kind of hibernate” until they can find solid financial footing for their long-term space commercialization plans.

Their decision was made on the heels of the failed maiden launch of their Rubicon rocket last August, Meier explained in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The 12-foot-long Rubicon rocket, designed to carry passengers and compete for the coveted $10 million Ansari X Prize, exploded upon launch before dozens of onlookers and media outlets off the coast of Queets.

That set them back in pursuit of the X Prize Foundation’s award, which was intended to spur civilian spaceflight.

The prize was eventually won by a design team on California’s Mojave Desert before a second Rubicon could be completed and tested on the North Olympic Peninsula.

“After the X Prize, we really had to face up to the reality of how we were going to finance this project over the long term,” Meier said.

“We have really slowed down on looking for investments at this point.

“We have to prepare people for the fact that it may not happen.”

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