(Thanks to Clark Lindsey at Hobby Space for the link)
After $18 Million, RocketPlane Only Launched Empty Promise for Oklahoma
A drive by the Will Rogers World Airport is all one needs to know something has gone awry. Along Amelia Earhart Drive sits the office of Rocketplane, home to what might have been Americaâ€™s first commercial space flight passenger company. Based out of the Oklahoma City office for nearly five years, engineers and executives plotted and tested their plans for building a rocket ship.
But today, the doors are locked, the windows are dark and a â€œFor Leaseâ€ sign stands outside the office.
â€œI canâ€™t give you an official date that they left. They didnâ€™t actually close until they moved out of our building,â€ said Laura Ohrenberg, office manager for The Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots, which sits directly across from the shuttered Rocketplane office. â€œThey moved out of our building in February.â€
Rocketplane had been subleasing their space from the museum, which owns the buildings and leases property from the airport.
â€œI saw one of the last employees a couple of weeks ago, and he told me about their last financial investor pulling out of them,â€ Ohrenberg said.
Oklahoma Gazette contacted Rocketplane president George French in Green Bay, Wis., but he would not comment on the record about the company. French became Rocketplaneâ€™s biggest investor several years ago and eventually took over the company.
So what of the $18 million Oklahoma taxpayers gave the company? No one has answered that question.
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