White Knight II could launch one-person low Earth orbit spaceship

by | Jan 23, 2008 | Seradata News | 12 comments

Burt Rutan said that White Knight II (WK2) could launch a two-stage rocket and put a single person into low Earth orbit, at the end of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo (SS2) and WK2 press conference

Flight learnt that WK2 has a 13,600kg (30,000lb) payload capacity sometime back

And in August 2004 Rutan told the Royal Aeronautical Society that he could envisage an orbital transportation system

As a very crude rule of thumb a payload is about 10% of a launch vehicle and its payloads combined gross lift off weight

So with a 13,600kg payload, a 1,300kg capsule could be launched, in theory. If you assume the passenger has an “average” mass of 90kg then there is 1,20kg left for the spaceship’s systems. Not much

Despite this fantastic claim Burt said that he did not have a customer for his one-person LEO spaceship and that Scaled only built vehicles for customers

Fishing for a contract, Burt?

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