Press Release

PlanetSpace, Lockheed Martin and ATK Team Up to Bid on NASA COTS

By SpaceRef Editor
November 23, 2007
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PlanetSpace is announcing that they have submitted a proposal response to NASA’s recent COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Phase 1 Demonstrations) request for proposals. PlanetSpace, working closely with its team mates Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, ATK, and the Bank of Montreal (Financial Advisor), has been diligently working to put together this proposal for NASA.

PlanetSpace, a leader in commercializing space and developer of space related technologies, today announced it has submitted its proposal to NASA to flight demonstrate cargo and crew delivery capability to the ISS in response to NASA’s COTS Phase 1 RFP. “We have been working closely with our Lockheed Martin, ATK, and BMO team mates over the past 6 months and have developed an innovative, low risk business plan and technical approach that can deliver cargo to the ISS economically and has the added benefits of providing low cost launch services to commercial and NASA customers” said Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria, Chairman of PlanetSpace.

The team has been gathered together over the last month at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Denver Co, putting the final details of their proposal together for NASA.

“We and our team mates are very excited about our NASA COTS Phase 1 program offering as it leverages the heritage spacecraft, launch vehicle, and commercial business expertise and capabilities within each company’s core competency…We think this is the type of relationship NASA has been looking for” said Al Simpson, Director of Advanced Programs for Human Space Flight at Lockheed Martin Space System Company.

PlanetSpace is leading the team to develop the cargo and crew delivery system. BMO Capital Markets (“BMO”) is engaged as PlanetSpace’s financial advisor for any acquisitions of the company as well as the placement of any debt and equity securities.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, using it’s vast interplanetary and autonomous spacecraft design, build, system integration, and mission operations experience, is developing the Orbital Transfer Vehicles for PlanetSpace. “We plan to leverage our flight proven systems and component capabilities at Lockheed Martin by integrating them into modular cargo carriers for PlanetSpace and NASA” according to Simpson.

Also teaming with PlanetSpace is ATK Launch Systems, currently developing the first stage for NASA’s Ares 1 launch vehicle and manufacturer of the Shuttle SRBs. ATK, leads the development of the launch vehicle segment and ground processing systems used for cargo delivery during the COTS Phase 1 demonstrations. “We see the strength of our PlanetSpace team as being attributable to shared business objectives in creating a viable, long term commercial cargo/satellite business…a key objective of NASA’s COTS program” said Joel Crook Program Director, Advanced Programs at ATK.

PlanetSpace’s consortium has also signed teaming agreements with Space Florida, United Launch Alliance, Wyle Laboratories, Paragon Space, and MEHTA Engineering.

“PlanetSpace recognizes the important steps that NASA has taken in stimulating the private sector to develop product and services for the space industry. We, here at PlanetSpace have been at the forefront of the private commercialization of space for many years. Together with our partners we can assure that NASA will have a low cost 100% mission reliable cargo vehicle for supply to the ISS in time for the retiring of the Space Shuttle,” said Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria Chairman of PlanetSpace.


PlanetSpace with headquarters in Chicago is part of the new emerging space commercialization business. Teamed with major players in rocket booster and space craft development the company is set to take the lead in the commercialization of space. PlanetSpace is developing a broad spectrum of commercial space services that include Cargo and Crew to the ISS, Point-to-Point Global Travel, Space Tourism, Satellite Orbital Delivery and Escape Velocity Missions.


Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.


ATK is a leading provider of advanced space systems with $4.1 billion in annual sales, approximately 16,500 employees, and operations in 21 states. The company is the world’s leading supplier of solid rocket motors. ATK expanded into the aerospace market with the acquisitions of Hercules Aerospace Company in 1995 and Thiokol Propulsion in 2001, which transformed the company into the world’s largest supplier of solid propellant rocket motors and a leading provider of high-performance composite structures. They produce the Solid rocket motors used on the shuttle and other major US domestic launchers.


BMO Capital Markets is a leading, full-service North American financial services provider offering corporate, institutional and government clients access to a complete range of products and services. These include equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, merger and acquisitions advisory services, merchant banking, securitization, treasury and market risk management, debt and equity research and institutional sales and trading. With over 2,000 professionals in offices in 26 locations around the world, including 14 in North America, BMO Capital Markets works proactively with clients to provide innovative and integrated financial solutions.

BMO Capital Markets is a member of BMO Financial Group (Toronto:BMO.TO)(NYSE:BMO), one of the largest diversified financial services providers in North America with more than US$336 billion in total assets and 35,000 employees as of July 31, 2007. For more information, visit

Due to the competition on the NASA COTS program no further announcements or details will be discussed until after the award of COTS.

Contacts: PlanetSpace Geoff Sheerin C.E.O. (519) 659-5852

SpaceRef staff editor.