At Space Access ’09 Armadillo Aerospace’s John Carmack noted that his company’s deal with Rocket Racing for suborbital vehicle development “did not come to fruition”. MSNBC’s Alan Boyle confirms that from the Rocket Racing side: president and CEO Granger Whitelaw said the suborbital vehicle development is “on hold” while the company focuses on its core business, the Rocket Racing League.
Even that, though, appears to have slowed down. Last year the league announced plans for exhibition races at eight sites in 2009 from a list of 20 venues, primarily air shows. However, Whitelaw tells MSNBC that plans call for two rocket racing vehicles to fly at the Reno Air Races in September. Those would be powered by Armadillo’s engines, and Whitelaw said that they are making a number of modifications to the aircraft based on the flight tests performed last fall. Unlike last year, it does not appear that the league will be flying at Oshkosh. The economy, as you might have guess, gets the blame for the slowdown in activity.