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Northrop buys spaceship maker

From Times Wire Services

Northrop Grumman Corp. bought Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites, builder of the first privately funded rocket ship to reach space.

Northrop declined to say how much it paid for closely held Scaled Composites, based in Mojave.

The purchase, made this month, requires approval from the Justice Department.

Scaled Composites’ manned SpaceShipOne reached suborbital space three times in 2004. In the last two years, the company has collaborated with Northrop on unmanned aerial vehicles. Northrop, based in Century City, owned 40% of the company before buying the rest.

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