R.I.P. Kistler

With Kistler now given the boot out of the COTS program all I can say is "that took a while," or more appropriately "finally."

It was a mystery to me as to why RPK was one of two dainty winners of the program that was going to bring the infamous alt-space community into the NASA fold. The company was in chapter 11 before as far as I knew, and with the little I do know the financial situation was never hunky doory.

Those that are saying that it's "NASA's fault" aren't being fair. Those that are implying that "NASA's blameless" sure aren't on level ground either.

Kistler was always on shaky financial ground to begin with and would have had a hard time funding anything let alone a vehicle that could ferry cargo to the ISS.

That being said NASA isn't blameless when it comes to the difficulties inherent in raising good old cashy money for this private space experiment NASA is embarking on. It has put as far as I know, as is typical, limits on foreign investment into the development of COTS vehicles. The more knowledgeable out there will be able to correct this assertion if it's wrong, but if I'm not mistaken that's how this shindig is working.

Now when I look at the only public figures I know of funding these commercial space adventures I see some foreign faces like Richard Branson. Hell even the X-Prize was funded by a foreign born family in the Ansari's. The number of non-Yankee, and non-Yankee borns involved in this drive to the stars are pretty significant.

Look, I understand the need to prevent American tech getting into the hands of terrorists and the like, but a certain amount of risk by NASA may just payoff when it comes to who can fund these COTS competitions.

Changing those rules might have changed the situation for RPK, but I doubt it. It was just a bad choice to begin with to have them as one of the two finalists for COTS funding.

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