Stratolaunch is about to get a family of new craft that can be fired from the giant plane. One of them is “Space Plane”, which will have a human crew. But first, let’s have a reminder about Stratolaunch and the incredible waves it has been producing around the world. With the wings stretching to 117 meters and being 73 meters in length, Stratolaunch is one of the world’s largest aircraft. The double-hull body structure is designed to act as a platform for high altitude rockets and can thus take on the skies with the scale being that of a behemoth. Now, the manufacturer announces that, with the launch in 2020, it will launch an entire family of new rocket launchers intended for the giant plane. Let’s remind ourselves that it was none other than Paul G. Allen, one of the people behind Microsoft, that is continuing to take part in projects that will make a difference in the coming years.
What’s new this time?
Among the news is a small reusable spacecraft like Stratolaunch called “Space Plane”. In its first version, the craft will be for autonomous cargo transport – but it will be followed by a version built to have crew on board. At present, however, the craft is at the sketch stage. This could get very exciting, very quickly…
In two years, the launch of the new rockets will begin. Then customers will have the opportunity to get small to medium loads in low orbit – 160 to 2,000 kilometers high. And according to the company, their platform offers unrivaled flexibility, which represents a big step forward in industry.
“Whether it’s for cargo or orbit, getting out of space in space will soon be as easy as booking an airline ticket,” said Jean Floyd, Chief Executive Officer at Stratolaunch on the company’s website.
Customers will be able to get a satellite in orbit for less than $ 30 million. That’s about half of what SpaceX takes for a launch with Falcon 9. At least in the Stratolaunch family is “Pegasus”. The raket raises 370 kg and in other contexts has succeeded in successful launches. In addition to Space Plane, two additional rockets will be added.
The Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV) is under development, with a first test launch scheduled for 2020. It will be able to carry a load of 3.4 tonnes and is optimized to quickly pick up satellites in orbit – at a budget price. Even the biggest car in the family is under development. As the name suggests, “Medium Launch Vehicle – Heavy” is intended for the heaviest welding, and it can carry a weight of six tons.
Can we expect Stratolaunch to pop up on our radar in the coming future? It is highly likely.
Evolvera – always changing, always evolving.