Sir Richard Branson confirmed plans for a commercial service to put satellites in orbit at a tenth of today’s costs! He unveiled LauncherOne, an expendable two-stage rocket designed to blast off at high altitude from Virgin’s carrier aircraft.
Images credit: Virgin Galactic
The new small-satellite launch service, which will feature an expendable two-stage liquid-fuelled rocket called LauncherOne, would be carried up into the atmosphere limits by WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) with a 500 pound satellite inside, at a cost of $10 million.
“I’m delighted to say that we can announce the next step of the Virgin Galactic journey,” Branson said as he unveiled LauncherOne. “A step that will bring great long-term benefits to our existing SpaceShipTwo program. It will unlock new technologies and will help fast-track the potential of space as a positive force for powerful change.”
Virgin Galactic also announced at Farnborough Airshow, that 529 individuals have already signed up to take the US$200,000, 60-mile (96-km) high trip, with SS2 spaceship.