ATK: We’ll Build Liberty With or Without NASA Funding

It looks like ATK and Astrium would move ahead with building its Liberty rocket even if it doesn’t get a portion of the $200 million NASA is set to distribute next month as part of the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program:

Regardless of whether the government agrees to help fund Alliant Techsystems’ rocket that would take astronauts to the International Space Station, the Utah company intends to move forward with its project because it believes there will be no shortage of commercial customers….

“With that seed money we would be able to test launch Liberty in 2013 and have it fully operational by 2015,” said ATK spokeswoman Trina Patterson. “Absent that funding, our first test would be in 2015, with the Liberty fully operational a couple of years later.”

Well, I guess that might make NASA’s decision a lot easier. You don’t actually need the money? Great. We’ll give it to someone else. Go forth and build it, and we’ll see if we can’t use it down the road. Cheers.

Maybe not the best strategy.