Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

Virgin Galactic fires up commercial launch capability

RATE THIS! +0
Posted in Science on 14th Jul, 2012 02:53 AM by AlexMuller

We've been fairly sure that Virgin Galactic had always intended to get into the commercial satellite business with its fancy midair launch system, especially now that Stratolaunch is planning to do the same thing, just bigger. In a press release today, Virgin announced LauncherOne, its new low-cost LEO launch system.

 

Essentially, LauncherOne works in exactly the same way as SpaceShipTwo: a carrier aircraft hoists the launch vehicle up to 50,000 feet and drops it, at which point the rocket engines fire up and the launch vehicle heads to orbit. Doing it this way saves some money (since you get the first 50,000 feet for free), but the reason it's appealing is more about versatility: you don't need a bunch of ground infrastructure, and you can launch from more or less wherever, whenever, avoiding weather while still hitting your target orbit.

 

LauncherOne maxes out with a satellite payload of about 500 pounds, and getting one of those to low Earth orbit will set you back less than $10 million, which is piddlysauce to serious satellite customers. Such customers already include Planetary Resources, that mildly crazy but also apparently very serious asteroid mining company that announced its existence earlier this year.

 

Below we have a video featuring the one and only Sir Richard Branson explaining why LauncherOne is the best thing since sliced spacebread, as well as a gallery full of pretty concept images.

 



Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2017-11-21 09:01:15
    High Incidence of PTSD Among Cancer Patients..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-11-21 08:56:02
    Human Memory Enhanced With a Brain Implant For the First.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-21 08:51:13
    MIT Reveals a Battery That Stores Solar Energy to Make.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-11-21 08:45:29
    Japan discovers new 50km cave in moon, raises hope for.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-11-20 17:24:02
    The 3 biggest threats to your Bitcoin (and 10 tips to.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me