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Report: NASA to cancel RpK COTS award
Posted: Mon, Sep 10, 2007, 1:47 PM ET (1747 GMT)
Kistler K-1 illustration (Kistler Aero. Corp.) NASA will terminate an agreement it had with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) to develop commercial transportation services to the International Space Station after the company's failure to raise private funding. Aerospace Daily reported Monday that NASA formally notified both RpK and Congress on Friday that the space agency was terminating its year-old agreement under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, starting a formal 30-day termination process. RpK had missed several deadlines to raise an estimated $500 million from private markets to help fund the development of the K-1 reusable launch vehicle. Last August RpK won one of two funded COTS awards that would have provided the company $207 million from NASA had the company met all of its milestones. The decision to terminate the RpK award could free up the unspent funds for awards to other companies that participated in the COTS competition last year. The other company to win a COTS award last year, SpaceX, has made steady progress on its contract, including the recent approval of its Dragon spacecraft design by a NASA safety review panel.
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