After successfully completing most milestones ahead of time, full funding was less than a month late in being finalized when NASA withdrew support for the COTS program from Rocketplane Kistler. This led to the funding sources to withdraw their funding, and the company filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on June 15, 2010.
In December 2011 all of the assets of Rocketplane Kistler were acquired by Space Assets LLC, who have re-instated Kistler with a new name, Kistler Space Systems. The assembled components of the K1 are still in storage, awaiting renewed funding. At present, the rocket is about 50% complete. NASA withdrew the COTS program from Kistler based on funding, not on technology. To date there is no other re-usable orbital insertion vehicle available. The K1 is less than 3 years from completion, with a mature design, already approved by NASA and other companies. The Technology remains intact, ready to complete and fly.
The COTS related press releases from Rocketplane Kistler remain on our web pages as reminders of our progress to date. You can access them by clicking here.
The web pages are being updated and still have some references to Rocketplane Kistler. The company name has changed, but the technology and all other references are still correct. We will be correcting the web pages and files over the next few months.