A few months later since the death of its founder Paul Allen (cofounder of Microsoft) company Stratolaunch Systems has decided to close several projects focused on developing launch systems of spacecraft. It is reported portal GeekWire. Recall that Stratolaunch is currently developing the world’s largest plane, and it is almost ready for my first flight.
In addition to developing the world’s largest plane, which is a dvuhfyuzelyazhny flying platform for withdrawal of the missiles in low earth orbit, the company planned to create a reusable spaceplane, a new type of rocket engine and three rockets. About these projects was announced in August last year. To date, all these projects, except a plane that is almost ready for my first flight, were under “design”. According to the news source, most of them in the end, it was decided to abandon, focusing on the development of the flying platform for space launches.
The first launch of a new rocket “Medium Launch Vehicle” project was planned to be implemented in 2022. The report States that in July last year, Stratolaunch has already tested a key component for its new hydrogen-oxygen engine PGA, named after the company’s founder, Paul Gardner Allen, but it seems that the project will not be completed.
A test gas generator of the rocket engine Stratolaunch Systems
“Stratolaunch stops developing a family of launch vehicles and rocket engine. We will optimize and direct all forces on the project of a flying platform and its preparation for a demonstration launch of a new rocket Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL. We are proud of our achievements and look forward to the first flight, which will be held in 2019”, — stated in the message of the company.
According to the source, Stratolaunch has already cut 50 staff, leaving the staff only 20 people, who will continue to work on the plane and prepare it for a first launch this year.
Huge dvuhfyuzelyazhny vehicle weighing 227 tons with a wingspan of 117 meters will be designed to lift in the upper atmosphere of the compact spacecraft, which in turn will be used for further development and output, for example, small satellites in low earth orbit. Last week, a giant machine once again brought out of the hangar and broke up on the runway of the Mojave airport (California, USA) up to 200 kilometers per hour.
Unfortunately, the company representative with whom communicated journalists GeekWire did not specify what caused the abandonment of most previously announced projects. But, apparently, we are talking about the lack of funding. GeekWire notes that many founders of private space the company invest in the development of their projects own funds. For example, Jeff Bezos and sir Richard Branson has invested approximately $ 1 billion in they have created a company, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic respectively.
To discuss the news in our Telegram chat.