End of the Line for Excalibur Almaz?

Excalibur_Almaz_capsule
It looks like the end of the road for Excalibur Almaz, the Isle of Man-based space company that has produced more lawsuits than space flights during its existence.

One of the company’s two space stations and its remaining return capsule has been seen heading for the Isle of Man’s port on the back of a truck. The company’s phone number has been disconnected. And the company hasn’t put out a press release since July 2012.

The departure of a Russian space station from the Isle of Man signifies the “end of Manx space tourism,” according to a government minister.

Space exploration and tourism company Excalibur Almaz imported two capsules in 2011 and planned to use them for space holidays costing £100m.

The company was unavailable to comment on where the 11m (36ft) long space station, built in the 1980s, is going….

Manx Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly said: “I am saddened to see the end of the potential space tourism project – however it is not the end of the Isle of Man’s space industry which is alive and well.”

Excalibur Almaz hoped to use two leftover Soviet-era Almaz space stations and a pair of return capsules to launch its own space program. The company had a difficult time finding anyone to fund the program. Last year, the company auctioned off one of the return capsules.

Along the way, Excalibur Almaz has been sued twice [here and here] by investors for alleged fraud. The company and its founders, Art Dula and J Buckner Hightower, have denied the claims.

  • Michael J. Listner

    Not a surprise.

  • mzungu

    Bursts of 1st of many space bubbles…. I remember reading some article on a magazine many years ago, where it rank higher than any of the “new space” companies for succeeding going up into the space/vacuum.

  • Hug Doug

    They clearly thought that having old Soviet hardware in their possession would give them an edge to achieving that goal.

  • Charles Lurio

    One thing I am certain of is that this has been a sincere effort and not a fraud.

  • HyperJ

    I guess they ran out of gullible investors.

  • HyperJ

    And the basis for this certainty is? A personal assurance from Art Dula? The man’s history?