Company Stratolaunch announced plans to develop a series of space rockets, the launch of which will be carried out by special carrier aircraft. The design includes three rockets and a reusable spaceplane that will be used to deliver cargo and people into orbit. To present the first development according to the Stratolaunch plan promises in 2022. The news reports according to the publication the Verge, citing the official website of the company.
Recall that the company Stratolaunch created by the cofounder of Microsoft Paul Allen and is engaged in the development of the giant dvuhfyuzelyazhny the aircraft carrier for withdrawal of the missiles in low earth orbit. In fact the ship is a flying platform for launch. The media, along with the rocket will rise to a certain height after which the rocket will undock from the machine and go to the thrust of its own engines, continuing the climb, until eventually not released into orbit. The trigger is very similar to the one used by the company Virgin Galactic. The latter in turn is also developing a spacecraft for that start with the aircraft carrier. The goal of the company is space tourism.
Carrier aircraft launched from Stratolaunch hangar
Initially, the company planned Stratolaunch to launch missiles, developed exclusively by other companies. The first such rocket was supposed to be a Pegasus – developed by Orbital ATK. The contracts to run signed with Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. Launching their missiles is scheduled for 2020. In the media for a long time wondering, Stratolaunch will build and launch their own rockets. Such plans, the company confirmed today, announcing that a series of rocket “Medium Launch Vehicle” project will begin to be output into orbit in 2022.
According to the release information, the rocket company, Stratolaunch will be able to output in low earth orbit up to 3.5 tons payload. Also in development is the heavy version of the launch vehicle Medium Launch Vehicle with a carrying capacity of 6 tons.
At the same time, Stratolaunch began designing reusable spacecraft, code-named “Black Ice”. With this spaceplane, the company plans to deliver and pick up cargo from earth orbit, and perform other tasks. What sources don’t specify. In addition, it is planned to develop a passenger version of the machine that will be used for delivery and return of people from low-earth orbit.
“We are pleased to share the first details about our own developments. Our devices will be able to adapt to perform absolutely any task. Whatever the payload, to whatever orbit is not needed to go, the conclusion of satellites in low earth orbit will soon become as simple as booking airline tickets,” commented the Executive Director of Stratolaunch Jean Floyd.
Carrier aircraft company Stratolaunch is really impressive. It weighs more than 227 tons. The wingspan of the machine – 117 meters, bigger than a football field. Before us is a contender for the title of largest aircraft in the world. However, it has become, he needs to take off. At least once. But to date, only taken out of its hangar in the Mojave desert several times and drove on the runway. When the plane rises into the sky – is unknown. The company planned to carry out the first flight of the machine this summer, but the season’s almost over, and news about when will be launched is still there.