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Bruce Damer's
Rotary Rocket Roton ATV Rollout Pages

rotary rocket

SpaceShip One launches from Mojave to suborbital flight June 21, 2004

Story of the Roton ATV and its Rollout

Roton News:

Spring 2003: Roton is airborne one last time in an attempt to move it to a Classic Rotors museum in Ramona, CA, See for more details.

On the first of March, 1999 an event took place in the Mojave desert of California that may truly set the stage for the general move of human beings, their cargo and the biota of the Earth out of the gravity well and into the solar system. This was the rollout of the Roton Atmospheric Test Vehicle (Roton ATV), a privately funded vehicle designed to take satellite or space station resupply cargo to low earth orbit, under the guidance of two pilots. This is the first piloted and fully reusable private launch vehicle effort. In stark contrast to government efforts, the entire program so far, including test vehicle, facilities, salaries, administration and promotion has been accomplished for a mere $30 million. The rollout of the Roton ATV was an important event for Rotary Rocket Company of Redwood City, California, and its investors, for much remains to be done to see the first Roton in orbit. Launches are planned for the 2001 time period with low altitude testing of systems before that. The company plans to offer complete service to orbit for the low low price of $7 million per launch. Presumably their timing will be excellent as there is a demand for hundreds of satellite launches in support of new LEO based communications satellite systems such as Teledesic, as well as possible resupply of the International Space Station.

Images courtesty rotary rocket company

See our photomontage gallery below, along with a written retrospective. You can view much more coverage including video/audio streams of the rollout at the rotary rocket homepage. I was attending this event with videographer James Essex, a former resident of Ancient Oaks here in Northern California. I was invited by Bob Glass, of Weaver Aerospace (thanks Bob!) and asked to write an article for the newsletter of the Space Studies Institute, of which I have been a Senior Associate for almost 20 years.

Photomontage and Written Retrospective
(click for more images and text)

The rotary rocket company facilities in Mojave California
Pre-rollout gathering..
a small party for 700!
The Rollout!
Photo Op and the crowd convervges on the Roton ATV

Now down to the Nitty Gritty.. how will the engines work on the flight ready vehicle?

View the webcast video and audio of the event (sorry this file is no longer available but might be found at the Rotary Rocket page in the Internet Archive)

click here to View slides
Click Here to view the event

broadcast by

Here's what you'll need to listen to the broadcast:

The Free RealPlayer - Get it Here
At least a 28.8 Kbps Connection to the internet
If you have any problems, try browsing our help pages

Visit a virtual world site dedicated to the rollout

Visit the Roton Rollout Retrospective virtual world site
Download and install Active Worlds and then
click here to teleport to Mars at 365.9N 364.7W 0.0a 70
(you may have to select "open file" then the helper app "aworld.exe"
from the directory you installed Active Worlds )

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