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Northrup-Grumman buys SpaceShipOne company

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070720/northrop_grumman_scaled_composites.html?.v=2

Wow.  So apparently, Northrup-Grumman already owned 40% of Burt Rutan's company, "Scaled Composits".  So, now that SpaceShipOne is a success (and Virgin Galactic is ordering platforms) Northrup-Grumman wants to own the whole shebang.

Fascinating.  Note that Scaled Composits is not the only private company trying to do sub-orbital flights.  But they were the first success.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 11:59am
I see a new series coming...Startups in Space
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:01pm
They are buying it so they can shelve the whole thing. Northrup competes on government contracts for spaceship work. Last thing they need is some smartass showing that stuff can be done on the cheap.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 24th, 2007 3:38pm
Sadly, that is a possibility.  I prefer to think that Northrup-Grumman wants ownership of the Rubber-NitrousOxide engine, so they can use it on the upper-stages of the CEV vehicle.

That's a really nice engine -- separate components that aren't toxic, yet a decent amount of thrust when the two are combined, and VERY controllable.  Perfect for manned flight purposes.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 4:03pm
Yes, they probably will gut out certain patents, or at the least prevent their competition from access to them. Like almost all acquisitions by MegaCorp Corp, this is a blocking or burying move. It could also be to acquire key people, or to get them to sign contracts that will destroy their ability to work as space scientists.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 24th, 2007 5:23pm

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