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SpaceX, Rocketplane Kistler win COTS awards
Posted: Fri, Aug 18, 2006, 9:09 PM ET (0109 GMT)
Kistler K-1 illustration (Kistler Aero. Corp.) NASA announced Friday afternoon that it has signed agreements with SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) that will provide the two companies with funding to help them develop vehicles that could service the International Space Station. The two companies will split nearly $500 million from NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration program, an effort by NASA to develop commercial vehicles to ferry cargo and crew to and from the ISS. SpaceX, which proposed developing the Dragon capsule launched on its Falcon 9 rocket under development, will receive $278 million, while RpK, which proposed a version of the K-1 RLV that the company's predecessor, Kistler Aerospace, developed in the 1990s, will get $207 million. The funding, which runs through the end of the decade, is contingent on the companies meeting a series of milestones as they develop their vehicles. Both companies plan to supplement the NASA money with private funding. The two companies beat out four other finalists to win the awards; 20 companies originally submitted proposals for the COTS effort.
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