May 04, 2016
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Rocketplane Press Release


Will Trafton

Rocketplane Kistler
(619) 519-2931

Rocketplane Kistler Wins $207 Million Award to Demonstrate International Space Station Servicing

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - AUGUST 18, 2006 - Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) won a $207 million NASA award to demonstrate its capability to service the International Space Station (ISS). The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract culminates in two flights to the ISS with first launch of RpK’s K-1 launch vehicle in late 2008.

George French, RpK’s CEO and Chairman of the Board said, “We are honored by NASA’s selection, and for the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities. The International Space Station is already a national and global asset. Commercializing ISS servicing multiplies its usefulness - maintaining a premier research facility, and stimulating space enterprise in Low Earth Orbit.” French went on to state, “We were impressed by the thorough technical and financial due diligence by the Crew and Cargo Transportation Office [at Johnson Space Flight Center]. They scrubbed us and twenty-three other competitors to ensure NASA would gain a viable commercial company that could supply reliable delivery of cargo to space.”

COTS demonstration flights will be conducted under a Space Act Agreement whereby Rocketplane Kistler will raise private funds to supplement NASA funding. RpK is already well along in first round financing, and will proceed with further financing rounds as the program progresses. The demonstration program will be followed by a competition to provide operational services to the ISS.

RpK President Randy Brinkley, former NASA manager for the ISS Program, said, “With Space Shuttle retirement, the commercialization of ISS servicing is a logical step to maintaining the Space Station and achieving NASA’s broader goals. We are committed to providing end-to-end services for NASA and the ISS.”

RpK leads a team that includes Orbital Sciences, ORBITEC, Lockheed Martin, Aerojet, Alenia Spazio, Oceaneering, Draper, Irvin Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, and other world class aerospace firms. RpK will establish a Houston office to support its COTS effort.

Rocketplane Kistler’s K-1 launch system will also provide low cost space access for satellites and research payloads. Coupled with the company’s suborbital XP Spaceplane, RpK is positioned to provide a wide diversity of suborbital and orbital space transportation services. The K-1’s hardware is 75% complete, and is scheduled for first flight in 2008. The XP Spaceplane is 50% complete, and scheduled for first flight in late 2008.

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 launch vehicle and the fully reusable, suborbital Rocketplane XP Spaceplane, both of which will be first to fly in their respective markets. Visit the websites for more information:,

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