Monday, July 11, 2005

Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion Company Receives Air Force Grant

Wickman Spacecraft Co

By Frank Warren

     It was announced last Friday that a former Sacramento firm, “Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion Company” now located in Casper, Wyoming was awarded an Air Force Grant in the amount of $99,670. The grant is specifically for “small business innovation research.”

     WSPC’s idea is to develop a “Small Launch Vehicle” (SLV) that is capable of being launched from Air Force cargo planes, a transition from the current aging bombers in the Air Force arsenal.

     Missiles launched from an SLV could potentially reach any point on the globe in a matter of minutes.

     John Wickman, a former employee for Aerojet Strategic Propulsion Company, located in Sacramento, California ventured out on his own in 1981 and founded WSPC. In those early years Wickman survived by obtaining small consulting contracts.

     In 1986 Dr. Adolf Oberth (son of Hermann) an expert in chemical propellant with several patents to his credit became a partner at WSPC. Dr. Oberth’s ideas regarding ammonium nitrate for use in solid rocket propellants garnered the company a grant from the Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I (SBIR). Much of the work done in those years was performed in the garages and backyards of the two men.

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