At the Space Access ’07 conference this morning, George French III of Rocketplane Inc. announced that the company has signed a letter of intent with Bigelow Aerospace regarding transportation to Bigelow’s orbital habitats. French provided only a few details about the agreement, which basically states that once Rocketplane’s K-1 is ready to carry passengers, and once Bigelow’s modules are in orbit, they’ll do business to ferry passengers to and from the facilities. Rocketplane officials didn’t want to disclose too many additional details since this announcement since this announcement is really a prelude to Robert Bigelow’s planned big announcement next month at the National Space Symposium about his overall business plan, but Rocketplane wanted to get a bit of the news out for the Space Access audience.
There was not much else new about the company in its conference presentation. One minor change is that they now refer to the former Rocketplane Ltd. part of the company, the one developing the XP spaceplane, as “Rocketplane Global”, while the K-1 development is the responsibility of Rocketplane Kistler (the former Kistler Aerospace); the overall company is simply Rocketplane Inc. The “Global” part in the name is designed to reflect the company’s long-term plans to set up XP operations outside the US, such as Japan, and eventually move into the point-to-point transportation market.