SSTL is LauncherOne customer says BBC

by | Feb 3, 2009 | Seradata News | 0 comments

The British Broadcasting Corporation has been told by Surrey Satellite Technology that this EADS Astrium owned UK small spacecraft manufacturer is working with Virgin Galactic on an air launched booster

Back in December Hyperbola exclusively revealed that Virgin Galactic had decided to call its air launched rocket LauncherOne, following a story Flightglobal had published about the spaceline talking to European countries regarding a two-stage launcher concept

I first heard about ideas to launch a rocket from Virgin Galactic’s carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo, all the way back in January 2007 when I was at Spaceport Sweden (more on that here) and have been nudging that story along ever since

There have also been rumblings of renewed interest in an indigenous UK rocket after space policy hearings by the UK parliament’s now defunct science and technology committee (the Labour government shut it down) saw the Ministry of Defence talk openly about an interest in a responsive space capability

Where UK government money will come from for such an air launched rocket scheme I have no idea, and I think that, sadly, unless SSTL can become rocket developer and launch provider for a large enough market they can find that will readily pay for launching 50kg (110lb) spacecraft this concept is probably as likely to come about as a UK astronaut

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