Trip to space in aisle 4
Some scoff at Penny Markt customers’ prospects of even getting airborne. “I saw the story and laughed my head off,” said Scott Cooper, a reporter at the Oklahoma Gazette who has been following Rocketplane’s activities since it first landed in Oklahoma. “In the 10 years they’ve been going they have never built a ship, and they have broken promise after promise after promise.”
Among other potential sore points for Oklahomans is Rocketplane’s $18 million in tax credits from Oklahoma state agencies since 2004 on the promise the company would bring jobs to the state. “I went to their headquarters near the airport in March and found they were locked up. The company had been packed up and gone,” Cooper said.
Lauer confirmed Rocketplane received the $18 million tax incentive, which he said was sold to a bank for $12.7 million in cash, which he says was spent on developing Rocketplane XP. He also confirms that it moved its headquarters from Oklahoma to Green Bay, Wisconsin, early this year. Nevertheless, he said, “We are committed to building and operating our vehicles from Oklahoma.”
But Lauer also said Rocketplane was looking at a “multi-spaceport strategy” involving new ones in Hawaii and Jacksonville, Florida and maybe one in Europe. “The tourist infrastructure is already there.”
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