July 30, 2009

Wisconsin, for now, is the final frontier

A U.S. competitor in space tourism, Rocketplane Global, has abandoned its Oklahoma facilities and is struggling to stay in business, its chief executive said.

The company fulfilled its 5-year, $18 million tax-break obligations to the state of Oklahoma by paying that much for 200,000 hours of design work, President and Chief Executive Officer George French told The Oklahoman.

Falling short of its goal of bringing tourists into space, the company is moving to Wisconsin, the newspaper said.

With investment dollars tight, a competitor, Virgin Galactic, said Tuesday it had formed a $280 million partnership with Aabar Investments.

We've stayed alive, but it's not easy, French said.