Rocketplane Global, the suborbital vehicle developer, issued a pair of press releases last week (curiously not available on their web site) announcing some personnel changes. David Faulkner, who has been the program manager for the Rocketplane XP vehicle project, is now the company’s CTO. Paul Metz, a veteran test pilot who had been the chief test pilot for the F-22, among other fighter aircraft, is now a company vice president and chief test pilot. He fills a position formerly held by John Herrington, who left the company at the end of last year.
An article in this week’s print edition of Space News (and not available online) reports that Rocketplane Global “has completed an overhaul of its effort” to develop the XP, and is also now independent of its former corporate parent, Rocketplane Inc. “There is no affiliation between Rocketplane Global and the remnants of the Rocketplane organization,” Rocketplane Global chairman Craig Dickman told Space News. (This separation is not yet reflected on the Rocketplane Inc. site, which still lists Rocketplane Global as one of two operating subsidiaries, along with Rocketplane Kistler.)
As for the company’s financial status, there are few new details in the article, and no specifics about how much has been spent on the XP development and how much more is needed. Faulkner said only that spending has been “within industry norms for a prototype program”.