Well now is your big chance. NASA announced today that it is pulling the financing from Rocketplane Kistler of Oklahoma City who were designing a new low orbit transport system, the technical jargon was the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Project, or  COTS.

Apparently Rocketplane Kistler has repeatedly missed milestones in their design project and of the original $206.8 million NASA agreed to invest in Rocketplane Kistler, the company received a total of $32.1 million. The remaining $174.7 million will be offered to aerospace firms in a new competition to design the system.

In 2006, NASA chose two companies to receive COTS funding: Rocketplane Kistler and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, of El Segundo, Calif. SpaceX is still in the race having met all of the milestones, both technical and financial.

The reason for NASA dropping Rocketplane Kistler faster than a meteorite hitting Earth seems to be for financial. It appears that the latest missed milestone was to do with them raising investment capital.

NASA will be releasing the full details of the competition next Monday, and companies will have 30 days to respond. So sharpen up those pencils, get out your slide rule and get designing. You too can be a rocket scientist.

For more information on NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program, visit:
Simon Barrett


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