NASA Cuts Funds for Private Space Venture

U.S. space officials, after several attempts to help resuscitate a private space venture led by closely held Rocketplane Kistler Inc., have issued a default letter effectively cutting off future federal assistance for the proposed $1 billion reusable rocket project, industry officials said.

The decision ends months of discussions between the company and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which had pledged to contribute as much as $207 million over the next few years to help Rocketplane develop a commercial transportation system to ferry cargo to and from the International Space Station.

The company, which tried but failed to raise as much as $500 million in private financing to keep the project alive, technically has 30 days to respond to NASA’s default letter. But industry officials said they expect the Oklahoma City-based firm to suspend operations and perhaps seek federal bankruptcy protection.

Source:  Wall Street Journal


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