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Desert Storm

Rotary Rocket Co. of Redwood Shores, Calif., is kicking up dust in the desert with construction of its $5.5-million rocket-building and launching facilities at the Mojave Airport.

The company, which counts best-selling author Tom Clancy among its investors, recently celebrated its formal groundbreaking and plans to build and launch an all-composite reusable rocket, the Roton, from the site.

When completed, the Rotary campus will have four buildings totaling about 45,000 square feet, according to Geoffrey Hughes, director of business development at Rotary.

Although Rotary is one of several companies chasing the dream of a reusable rocket for launching satellites, the firm is unique in its plan for the Roton to return heavy objects (such as disabled satellites) as well as deliver them to orbit.

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The company has about 50 employees and expects to add about 100 more at the Mojave site when completed.


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