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Return of the ‘rocket boys’

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Apr 6, 2005 12:54 pm
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chabot imageby Alan BoyleRemember the Rubicon 1 rocket that went kablooie last year during the stretch run for the X Prize? Since then, the “rocket boys of Forks” have sold off a lot of their stuff and aren’t working in the machine shop anymore — but Space Transport co-founder Eric Meier says the Rubicon 2 rocket is still in storage in Forks, Wash., while he and business partner Phil Storm consider their next steps.

We’re just back in the thinking mode that we were in before we had a machine shop to work in,” Meier told me today. “There are still some exciting possibilities for Space Transport.”

Meier said he was planning to take up an assistantship at the University of Washington’s aeronautics and astronautics division. When asked if he might be talking with other rocket ventures, such as Amazon.com founder’s Blue Origin group, he acknowledged that there have been contacts but would say no more.

Storm was similarly mum: In an e-mail, he said there was “nothing really newsworthy to report.”

“I’m working on some new ideas, but nothing I can share right now,” he wrote.

Even though Meier said the Rubicon 2 was under wraps for the time being, there are Rubicons of a different kind for sale: As part of its X Prize model-rocket series, Estes is marketing mini-Rubicons, and a cut of the profits is supposed to make its way eventually to Space Transport.

“I’m not expecting some huge windfall, but it should be good,” Meier said.

You can read Alan Boyle his cosmic log at: http://www.cosmiclog.com

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