Irvin Aerospace to Assist in the Commercialization of Space
SANTA ANA, Calif - 25 August, 2006
Irvin Aerospace, the world's first parachute engineering, design and manufacturing company founded in 1919, will team with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) to develop routine, commercially available access to space.
Under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, Rocketplane Kistler was recently awarded a funded Space Act Agreement. As part of this NASA contract, the Rocketplane Kistler K-1 Launch Vehicle will complete two demonstration flights, culminating with delivery of commercial cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS).Following the demonstrations, Rocketplane Kistler will be capable of providing commercial delivery services into space for NASA and other customers. Future expansion of these services will include the delivery of the crew to the International Space Station (ISS).
Irvin Aerospace has worked closely with Rocketplane Kistler (formerly Kistler Aerospace) for a number of years, developing the original Landing System for the K-1 Launch Vehicle. "Safe recovery is crucial to reusable Launch Vehicle operations," said Tony Taylor, Director of Space Systems for Irvin. "RpK has entrusted us with providing a controlled final descent and soft landing for both stages."
To date, joint development of the K-1 Landing System has included a number of major accomplishments including completion of several qualification flight tests, early scaled testing of the landing airbag system and production of the first flight parachutes.
"We are extremely pleased with the COTS announcement and the resumption of the K-1 development program at Irvin," said Dave Berry, President of Irvin Aerospace. Commenting on their teaming with Irvin, Randy Brinkley, President of Rocketplane Kistler said, "Irvin is a world leader in recovery system technology. They bring to the program a unique, fully-integrated Landing System that ensures safe and efficient recovery of the K-1 stages."