An illustration of a K-1 launch (RpK)
The Kistler K-1 launch vehicle was to have been a two-stage, fully reusable aerospace vehicle in commercial development by Rocketplane Kistler. It was designed to accommodate a wide range of missions, including payload delivery to low-earth orbit (LEO), payload delivery to high-energy orbits with a K-1 Active Dispenser, technology demonstration flights, microgravity missions, and commercial cargo resupply, recovery, and reboost services for the International Space Station. After failing to meet financial milestones, NASA announced in October 2007 that it was terminating funding for the project.
"The first stage of the vehicle would fly back to the launch site; the second would orbit Earth before returning. Recovery of the stages would be by parachutes and air bag."
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