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Falcon or Vulture?

Color me surprised that Kistler is still not financed, at least as of a week ago.

However, reading the first few paragraphs…

The manager of the NASA program subsidizing development of the K-1 said July 31 he is willing to give RpK more time to complete its financing.

“RpK is making good progress and we are being patient to give them every opportunity to succeed,” Alan Lindenmoyer, manager of NASA’s Johnson Space Center-based Commercial Crew and Cargo program, said through a spokeswoman. “We have not given them a deadline, and as specified in the Space Act Agreement, are assessing the situation to determine if further efforts are in the best interest of both parties.”

…got me to wondering how long it would be before SpaceX sent in its lawyers to protest what has the appearance (whether or not it has the substance) of NASA giving RpK special treatment.

Imagine my surprise when I read this at the end of the article:

RpK’s competitors have been busy in recent weeks lobbying NASA on how it should spend the remaining $175 million should the U.S. space agency declare RpK in default on its COTS agreement, something that has not happened yet.

Some of the COTS finalists would like to see NASA using RpK’s money to bring on one or more new competitors. But Space Exploration Technologies, the other company NASA selected last August to receive financial assistance with its space station re-supply system, has been urging NASA to give it RpK’s remaining money to step up development of a crewed capability.


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