World’s largest aircraft company just announced its new family of launch vehicles, that will enter regular service starting in 2020.
Stratolaunch Systems’ unique air-launch system will use the world’s largest aircraft as a mobile launch platform, capable of deploying launch vehicles that will carry satellites to multiple orbits and inclinations on a single mission. With these new vehicles, Stratolaunch is poised to make access to space convenient, affordable, and routine.
–Pegasus: With its existing track record of over 35 successful launches, Pegasus provides dependable access to orbit.
Capability: 370 kg payload* for a single or triple configuration
Status: Flight proven, integration and testing ongoing with first flight in 2020
–Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV): A new medium-class air-launch vehicle optimized for short satellite integration timelines, affordable launch and flexible launch profiles.
Capability: 3,400 kg payload*
Status: In development with first flight in 2022
–Medium Launch Vehicle – Heavy: A three-core MLV variant with capability to deploy heavier payloads to orbit.
Capability: 6,000 kg payload (estimated performance for a 400 km circular orbit at 28.5°)
Status: Early development
–Space Plane: A fully reusable space plane that enables advanced in-orbit capabilities and cargo return. Initial designs optimized for cargo launch, with a follow-on variant capable of transporting crew.
Capability: Medium-class payload or crew
Status: Design study
Jean Floyd, Chief Executive Officer at Stratolaunch, explained:
“We are excited to share for the first time some details about the development of our own, proprietary Stratolaunch launch vehicles, with which we will offer a flexible launch capability unlike any other. Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight.”
source Stratolaunch Systems