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Rotary Rocket to close Roton facility
Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001, 2:24 PM ET (1924 GMT)
Roton Rotary Rocket, a company that tried to develop a low-cost reusable launch vehicle, will close and auction off the California facility where it built and tested an early prototype. The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reported Saturday that Rotary will auction off its facility at the Mojave, California airport, including a three-story office/hangar and a rocket assembly building, on February 3. The company made the decision since the facilities weren't being used and the company had no plans to use them for the foreseeable future. The site was used to construct a prototype of the Roton, a cone-shaped launch vehicle that would have taken off like a rocket but landed like a helicopter using a set of rotors. The vehicle made several low-level test flights, powered solely by the rotors, but further development was stalled by a lack of investment. The company nearly lost the facility to county tax assessors several weeks ago when it failed to pay its property taxes on time, but the bills were eventually paid. The company, down to a dozen employees at its Bay Area office, said it has a business plan and "significant" resources to wait until the investment climate improves.
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