Space Transportation

Thrifty Space


Imagine flying high above the Earth, seeing every continent, every ocean, the curve of the Earth, the Moon and the stars without obstruction.

Imagine floating and moving around effortlessly…

Imagine that one day you would be able to next day emergency ship a key component for your corporation or small business from across the world. Perhaps you travel between New York City and Tokyo or other long routes where typical flights are over 16 hours in length. Now consider getting there in under three.

Maybe your business would like to launch a satellite but cannot afford cost of building a 100% reliable satellite due to the high launch costs. Now however, you can launch a new type of satellite: one that is easily maintained, costs perhaps hundreds of million dollars less, can be upgraded, or entire modules added all as soon as your satellite is produced with a tremendous savings. This is the promise of Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company an Advanced Transportation corporation for the 21st Century.

Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company (CFFC) was incorporated in the State of Washington on April 19, 1999 for the purpose of creating a vehicle that can meet needs to procreate and sustain human activity in space.

The first step is to develop a prototypical vehicle that can attain significant advances in current spacecraft construction techniques and to demonstrate several key components for an orbital craft.

As with any rocket based system, engines are the most critical design feature that we require to meet our most basic objectives. But just as Werner Von Braun learned from Robert Goddard in the 1930s and 1940s by knowing something can be accomplished, so shall we accomplish the feat of producing reusable lightweight rocket engine capable of producing several thousand pounds of thrust. We have the advantage, however, of learning from decades of rocket tests and well published results.

The next great challenge is that of the landing gear. Current hydraulic landing gear increases in mass dramatically as the mass of the craft increases. Thus we need to create an alternative to hydraulic landing gear or keep the craft extremely light. With any rocket system, we are looking at carrying 9 times more fuel in weight than all other weights of the craft combined. But we have to also recognize that upon landing a major portion of that weight will have disappeared after being consumed in flight. Therefore, we look to methods such as midair refueling, drop rockets, or extremely light and strong materials for the craft structure.

In our analysis we have discovered the remarkable strength of Styrofoam and its ability to be coated by a boron nitride seal. Further, we have developed unique means to construct, maintain, and launch a small yet capable prototype suitable of the designation The Good Ship (TGS) Kitten.

The Kitten is the first step into a frontier we have yet to tame.

TGS Kitten

TGS Kitten or The Good Ship Kitten is named after a Robert A. Heinlein character “Kitten” in the short story “Our Fair City.” In this short story, Kitten was a whirlwind that somehow had gained consciousness. Kitten could do things that no one ever thought possible and for this reason it is the name of our first class of craft. This name is especially fitting because the project has been budgeted for $6.0 million USD. No other space launch vehicle project has been undertaken for a budget this small, but it is because we are working with a small budget that we can innovate and adapt current technologies into the craft for a reasonable amount of money. When you have a world of money to work with you go for the best available technology; when you have far less than that, you look to the shelves.

TGS Kitten, is a small craft of approximate mass of 3.5 metric tonnes. [1 kilogram (kg) equals 2.2 pounds; 1 tonne equals 1,000 kg or 2,200 pounds. A metric tonne is 1.1 times British tons].

Using unique patentable construction techniques, Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company will build and fly the Kitten prototypical craft within 18 months after funding for this development project is complete. Within 21 months of funding, the XPRIZE competition may be near its end. And within 24 months after funding, our astronaut training corps will begin training aboard the world’s first privately funded spacecraft.




4.0 M TALL
5.0 WIDE
6.5 M LONG

Gross liftoff mass (GLOM)

3200 kg

Landing mass

900 kg


methane OR propane, and liquid oxygen


3 at 4,880 lbs thrust each

Maximum altitude

235 kilometers / 145 miles

Maximum speed

Mach 4

Basic construction is an aluminum sandwich foamed in place and coated with a high temperature Boron Nitride ceramic. This makes a very light structure and it will withstand all forces expected. Most of the components are off-the-shelf FAA certified parts and the rest have been used elsewhere in industry. The required performance of each is at or below 80% of its OEM rated ability (we are operating at 80% of component capacity). To date we have been in the design process for approximately 50,000 hours choosing the best Commercially Off the Shelf (COTS) components that mate with our custom systems.

The Kitten is a small step forward for Cerulean Freight into a much larger industry. Tourism is only our starting point and we will expand our fleet with the Calico Class vehicle shortly after the TGS Kitten has proven herself.



Justin S. McFarland
Phone: (540) 232-3867
Monday thru Thursday 7-10pm EST
Fax: (509) 352-7886
Email: **
**preferred initial contact method 24/7


Douglas Drummond
Justin S. McFarland *
Gregory Ostrom, PhD. MD


Douglas Drummond


Gregory Ostrom, PhD. MD


Tom Klein
Tom Ligon
Fred Mahan
Joseph Martino, PhD.
Robert Miller
Carlton Oakley
Fred Porps


Gary Oliver


Full Moon

Find the date of the full moon for any year with the lunar calendar : gardening with the moon, astrology, live your life according to the moon cycles and if you wonder when to cut your hair during the full moon or if babies are born more under a full or a new moon, look no further than this astronomy website about the only Earth satellite

This page is under constant construction. It provides to the user a host of links to Cerulean Freight co-operative ventures and websites.
Alliant Space Development Organizations: is a space news site that updates regularly with status of Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) including the TGS Kitten.

National Spaceflight Training Center (Sacramento, CA)

NSTC is a spaceflight education and astronaut training facility for the general public . Programs will feature simulated Space Shuttle and Space Station missions, and some will conclude with a drawing for a free ticket for a sub-orbital flight to space aboard a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) such as the Kitten or Calico class spacecraft.

Offering amazing outer space tours using the Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company’s craft(s). Featured under “Reserve Flights” is a space technology site that updates regularly and shows the vast field of launch vehicles as well as several articles on the technology involved as well as hosts articles and updates about Cerulean Freight.

Spaceprojects is a conglomeration of links and sources for the multifaceted realm of space development. “There are some controversial yet potentially interesting and well-documented space program reform proposals maintained there by someone formerly at NASA HQ, too.” The more word gets out, the more difference we can hopefully make in our democracy.


Cerulean Freight was inducted August 24, 2000 into the XPRIZE Foundation’s $10M contest for the ‘grail’ of private space achievement: attaining 100km twice within 2 weeks with one craft.

Want your Link here? Contact Us:

Media Center

From this website, high quality media reprintable are available. Click on the Images section above to take a look at our thumbnailed images.

If you have any problems with these files please contact info@thriftyspace for preferred method of transfer.

Remember, to get into space, we need to make some noise! Help us out with investments of time, money, or some good PR.

Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company- The Sky is No Longer the Limit

Press Releases

Press Releases

KitCraft Feature

New Scientist Magazine
Online: Sept. 14, 2000
UK: Sept. 12, 2000
USA: Sept. 14, 2000


BBC 5 Live
Sept. 13, 2000
London, U.K. 011-44-208-624-8901
Sept. 13, 2000
Birmingham, U.K.
Sept. 15, 2000
Vancouver, B.C. Canada 604-331-2711
Sept. 28, 2000
Sydney, Australia 011-09-626-1175
BBC London
Sept. 28, 2000
London, U.K. “World Today”

Cerulean Freight Feature

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Online: Sept. 15, 2000
New York Times
Online: Sept. 16, 2000
Australia: Sydney Morning Herald
Sept. 16, 2000: One small step, and DIY enters space age COVER
Sept. 22, 2000
Sept. 21, 2000
Hypersonic Transportation Feature

San Francisco Business Journal
Aug. 21, 2000
San Francisco, California, U.S.

XPRIZE’S Features Online:
CNN Online:
Just a Couple of Sunday Drives…Into Space
Aviation Week’s Space Business
Oct. 30, 2000: 19th Is the Way to Go
X Prize Entrants Race Toward Space, Glory and Cash
“Popular Science” ( November 2000 issue has a report on space
travel – space poll: 41% would pay $50,000 or more for a week in space.

Oct. 30, 2000
Jim Benson of SpaceDev endorses CFFC’s stance on development (COTS)

TIME EUROPE Latest Edition of TIME Europe – Travel 2000
October 30, 2000, Vol. 156 No. 18: A special report on the new frontiers of tourism

05-02-00 To Space Thrifty Style

19th Team Joins X-Prize Competition

19th Team Joins X-Prize Competition

By Craig Linder
Spacial to SPACE
posted: 12:11 pm ET
25 August 2000

WASHINGTON (States News Service) — The competition for the X PRIZE just got stiffer.

A 19th team joined the race Wednesday, hoping that its design for a reusable three-person spacecraft will be the one that wins the $10 million grand prize.

Named for a character in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story Our Fair City, the team’s craft is dubbed “The Good Ship Kitten” and is designed to be much smaller and lighter than the other 18 entries for the X PRIZE.

The team building the Kitten is based at the Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company of Oroville, Washington located just south of the Canadian border. Designed to take off and land from a traditional runway, the Kitten in some respects has more in common with a commercial jet than a typical rocket.

Jim Hill, who is leading Cerulean’s 17-person team of engineers and pilots, said that the initial inspiration for the Kitten’s design came from kit aircraft that users can assemble on their own.

In fact, he said, the Cerulean team hopes to sell the Kitten as a kit spacecraft. Hill said that the kits will sell for about $500,000 when they come to market.

Standing just 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) tall and 19.7 feet (6 meters) long, the Kitten uses a skin made of foam and aluminum that is then coated in ceramic. Hill said that using that material allows the craft to use less fuel to reach its maximum altitude of 145 miles (235 kilometers).

“We can make it light and still make it strong,” he said.

Powered by either methane or propane, blended with liquid oxygen, the 7,055-pound (3,200-kilogram) Kitten will take off on a runway and fly like an airplane to a height of 7.5 miles (12 kilometers). From there, it will then soar like a rocket to its maximum altitude.

Once the ship returns to Earth, Hill said that it can be turned around for another flight within 90 minutes.

“The whole idea is to make it quick and convenient,” he said.

The Kitten will cost Cerulean roughly $1.5 million to develop, Hill said, with most of the funding coming from individuals. The team is able to keep the cost of the craft down because the engineers and designers working on the project are not drawing salaries from the company.

“We’re putting sweat into this instead of labor,” he said.

Modeled after the Orteig Prize, which sparked the interest in transatlantic flight that culminated in Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 nonstop solo flight from New York to Paris. Like the X PRIZE, the Orteig Prize was sponsored by a group of St. Louis businessmen.

The X PRIZE Foundation, the group that is offering the prize, hopes to spark interest in commercial space travel with the award.

The $10 million X-PRIZE will go to the first team that flies a reusable rocket twice within two weeks to 62 miles (100 kilometers) or higher. The craft must also be privately financed and able to carry three passengers.

Back to top

Source: XPRIZE.ORG / Posted 08/24/2000

Contacts: Lisa Clarke
X PRIZE Foundation

                              New Race to Space Heats Up with
                                         Addition of 19th Team

St. Louis, MO (August 23, 2000) - The St. Louis-based X PRIZE Foundation today announced that the Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company of Oroville, WA, has entered into the X PRIZE. Cerulean is the 19th team to register to compete in the $10 million international competition. The X PRIZE will be awarded to the first person or team to build a privately funded passenger-carrying vehicle that travels to space and back.

Dr. James Hill is leading the Cerulean effort with an experienced team of aerospace design and construction professionals. Powered completely by rocket power, and quieter than a 737 aircraft, the Cerulean space vehicle will take off and land on a traditional runway. Cerulean’s spacecraft is constructed using commercially available, off-the-shelf components, combining existing technology in a new and innovative way.

“We were raised with the dream of space travel, yet it has been thirty years since man last set foot on another world,” said Hill. “Through the X PRIZE, the private sector will have the chance for space travel and reverse the belief that space is reserved for governments. We are creating the next generation of space vehicles.”

To win the $10 million X PRIZE, spacecraft must be privately financed and constructed, and demonstrate the ability to fly three people into space. Vehicles must be reusable, flying twice within a two-week period. The competition’s goal, which has been endorsed by leading space and aviation organizations around the world, is to jump-start the commercialization of space, including space tourism. Currently, there are 19 teams from five nations participating in this first-of-its-kind competition.

“A new industry is ready to emerge in space,” continued Hill. “Humanity is faced with the greatest opportunity to venture and expand into the final frontier and realize that the sky is no longer the limit.”

"I am excited to see more innovative people and designs entering the X PRIZE competition " said Gregg Maryniak, Executive Director, X PRIZE Foundation. “Within the next four years we will see a new generation of spacecraft inspired by the spirit of this competition. The X PRIZE designers will go down in history.”

Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company ( The Cerulean (TGS Kitten) entry taxis on a conventional runway about one mile long. Engines begin to hum as the cryogenic tanks are pressurized and the brakes are released. The thrust is increased to yield a 2G acceleration - the equivalent of the acceleration experienced on a playground swing. At takeoff, the vehicle is traveling at approximately 150 miles-per-hour and the nose is raised to 9 degrees above the horizon. At 40,000 ft. the (TGS Kitten) pitches to 75 degrees and accelerates at 2Gs for approximately 2 minutes. The craft then coasts for two minutes and pitches down to 60 degrees 2.5 minutes later. The (TGS Kitten) then begins
a gliding descent to the port of origin for refueling and another trip. The entire flight lasts under two hours, with approximately 4.5 minutes of zero G, quick turnaround time allows for multiple flights in one day. More than half of the funds for development and testing of the Cerulean X PRIZE entry have been raised through private investors. The team anticipates launching within 18 months of achieving full funding.

For additional information about the X PRIZE, visit the X PRIZE Foundation web site at

Note to editors: Electronic images of the Cerulean vehicle (TGS Kitten) are available by contacting Lisa Clarke at 202-662-1280

Back to top

To Space Thrifty Style
Source: PR Web / Posted 05/02/2000

For years now the private citizen has only dreamed of reaching space. Today, however, a dynasty is being born in the tiny Pacific Northwest town of Oroville, Washington. One small company of physicists, chemists, engineers, pilots, technicians, and a medical doctor seek the goal of 145 miles (236 km) above the Earth with a payload of 2 passengers and 1 pilot. Two weeks after their first flight, they will fly again.

Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company (CFFC) was founded April 19, 1999 in Washington State with the mission to provide low cost space access to not just the large corporations and the big governments but to the little guy, the little old lady tourist, the small business, and the classroom.

Their exposure has been minimal, advertising budget nearly non-existent, and labor: volunteer. Beginning in 1971, the CFFC parent Aerodesic Research has designed, modified, and redesigned, minimized cost, and optimized safety for the CFFC product line, spacecraft that take off and land at a typical runway, be refueled and examined and takeoff again in 50 minutes economically.

Cerulean Freight, has designed three classes of craft starting small with Kitten and working through Calico to the largest: Angora. Kitten promises to enable microsatellite launch for $105,000 as well as hour long space rides to 145 miles for up to 6 minutes of zero gee experience. Calico is being developed in parallel with the Kitten class. It will provide hypersonic (mach 5+) intercontinental freight and passenger services as well as enable economic satellite and space infrastructure launch of up to 1.8 metric tones (about 4000 lbs) of cargo or 10 passengers for orbital services lasting over 9 hours at 465 miles (750km) up. Angora promises to usher in the 3rd industrial revolution with its low cost to orbit 15 metric tones (33000 lb) payload or 60-passenger design. These space cats promise to bring costs from the NASA standard of about $15,000/kg to below $1,200/kg. $600+ million per launch for a space shuttle equates $19.5 million for higher CFFC payload capacity (23 tones to 23.4 tones respectively).

CFFC promises launches can start 18 months after funding requirements are met ($400,000-or $800,000 letter of intent) and begin putting the private citizen in space for the first time, thrifty style.

Check out this X-Prize applicant at

For more information contact:

Cerulean Freight Forwarding Company
32986 Suite 6 Hwy 97
Oroville, WA 98844
Phone: (509) 476-2712
Fax: (707) 897-2511

Back to top