http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.11Change: 0.11
R/$ = 11.05Change: 0.05
Au 1242.87 $/ozChange: 3.55
Pt 1269.20 $/ozChange: 6.20
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 27, 2012

Cut-price small satellite launch system unveiled by Virgin Galactic

Back
Abu Dhabi|Components|Sierra Nevada Space Systems|Surrey Satellite Technologies|System|Systems|The Spaceship Company|Virgin Galactic|United Kingdom|United States|USD|Carrier Aircraft|Product|Satellite Designs|Satellite Launch Rocket|Satellite Launch Services|Satellite Manufacturers|Services|Systems|Burt Rutan|George Whitesides|Infrastructure|Richard Branson|SpaceShipTwo|WhiteKnightTwo (WK2)|WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) Carrier Aircraft
|Components|System|Systems||||Services|Systems|Infrastructure||
abu-dhabi|components|sierra-nevada-space-systems|surrey-satellite-technologies|system|systems-company|the-spaceship-company|virgin-galactic|united-kingdom|united-states|usd|carrier-aircraft|product|satellite-designs|satellite-launch-rocket|satellite-launch-services|satellite-manufacturers|services|systems|burt-rutan|george-whitesides|infrastructure|richard-branson|spaceshiptwo|whiteknighttwo-wk2|whiteknighttwo-wk2-carrier-aircraft
© Reuse this



Suborbital space tourism company Virgin Galactic announced at the recent Farnborough International Air Show, in the UK, that work had started on the development of a small satellite launch rocket, designated LauncherOne, that will be dropped from the company’s WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft. It will provide commercial small satellite launch services.

WK2 was originally developed to carry the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital passenger spacecraft. WK2 will carry SS2 to altitudes around 16 000 m and release the spacecraft, which will then ignite its rocket motor and soar into space for a suborbital flight, after which it will re-enter the atmosphere and glide back to base. The same approach will be used with LauncherOne, except that, of course, the end result will be the orbital flight of a small satellite. The new rocket will be able to launch satellites with a mass of up to 225 kg, and is forecast to be able to do so at prices below $10-million. LauncherOne will be a two-stage rocket.

Because LauncherOne will be dropped from an aircraft, launch infrastructure costs will be much reduced and it will be possible to do launches from many locations, giving great flexibility to customers. Simultaneously, two of the world’s leading small satellite manufacturers, Surrey Satellite Technologies, of the UK, and Sierra Nevada Space Systems, of the US, announced that they would develop satellite designs that would be compatible with the LauncherOne specifications.

Virgin Galactic has a partner in the LauncherOne programme, Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments PJS. Virgin Galactic is itself a US subsidiary of renowned British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group. The LauncherOne concept was first floated by Virgin in 2009 and the first commercial flights could take place in 2016. A number of companies have already signed up to use the system.

“Virgin Galactic’s goal is to revolutionise the way we get to space. “I’m immensely proud of what we have already achieved as we draw near to regular suborbital flights on SpaceShipTwo,” affirmed Branson. “Now, LauncherOne is bringing the price of satellite launch into the realm of affordability for innovators everywhere, from start-ups and schools to established companies and national space agencies. “It will be a critical new tool for the global research community, enabling us all to learn about our home planet more quickly and affordably.

“Small satellite launch is an area ripe for disruption. “Miniaturised satellite components and constrained budgets are driving commercial clients, academic users and government agencies all to clamour for an affordable, dedicated launch vehicle,” highlighted Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “Now, thanks to Aabar’s investment, our existing capabilities and the expert team we’ve already assembled, we’re prepared to fill that void by bringing LauncherOne to market.”

Like WK2 and SS2, LauncherOne is a product of The Spaceship Company, which is a joint venture between the Virgin group and Scaled Composites (the company which designed and originally developed the WK2 and SS2). Scaled Composites was founded by equally renowned US aerospace engineer and designer Burt Rutan.

Meanwhile, SS2 is expected to make its first powered flight before the end of this year, and 529 people have booked seats for flights into space on the craft – this number is greater than the total number of people who have ever been in space.

It should be noted that LauncherOne is not the world’s first air-dropped satellite launch vehicle. US company Orbital has, since 1990, orbited more than 80 small satellites in 41 launches of its Pegasus air-dropped three-stage rocket. The company uses a modified Lockheed Martin L-1011 Tristar widebody airliner as its carrier aircraft.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
More
 
 
Latest News
Medupi power station
Updated 34 minutes ago State-owned power utility Eskom on Monday said it has successfully achieved the first oil fire for Unit 6, the first of the Medupi boilers at the developing power station in Limpopo. With the first oil fire, using liquefied petroleum gas and fuel oil, now achieved,...
Updated 57 minutes ago After a R1.5-billion impairment charge resulted in Hulamin reporting negative earnings per share (EPS) of 422c for the 2013 financial year, the aluminium supplier said on Monday that EPS and headline earnings per share for the 2014 financial year were expected to...
Updated 3 hours ago In a bid to progress its contentious nuclear build programme and increase the contribution of nuclear energy to the country’s overall energy mix, government reiterates it is in talks with various prospective nuclear vendors over nuclear technologies that could...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
IAN EVANS AirWatch file synchronisation and sharing system was initially designed for a large airline company
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks