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Цитировать2 October 2010 Last updated at 11:30 GMTVirgin Galactic slows satellite launcher plans[/size]By Rob Coppinger Spaceflight writerVirgin Galactic's satellite launching rocket LauncherOne that once attracted $110m in investment is now in doubt.LauncherOne's manager has departed and the space tourism company's chief executive is talking only about future possibilities for the rocket.The rocket would take satellites weighing up to 200kg (440lbs) into low-Earth orbit for $1-2m.LauncherOne was to be air-launched from Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo aircraft.This is the same plane that will also launch Sir Richard Branson's tourist carrying SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.In July 2009, Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investment offered Virgin Galactic $110m for LauncherOne development, if further studies proved the business case.Launcher 1 (BBC)Later that year, Sir Richard's Galactic team took on Adam Baker to be its general manager for small satellite launch and to conduct those studies.Dr Baker had previously worked for Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, the British small spacecraft manufacturer.The Guildford-based company had been looking to find cheaper and more timely access to space for its clients and had spoken to Virgin Galactic about working on the LauncherOne project in 2008 and early 2009.But SSTL backed out after attempts to raise some feasibility funding from the then British National Space Centre (now the UK Space Agency) did not succeed.Soon after Dr Baker's employment started at Galactic, the company's President Will Whitehorn told an October 2009 conference that LauncherOne could start operating a year after the sub-orbital tourism business was up and running.However, Dr Baker left Virgin Galactic last month and there is no clear explanation from the company as to why the project is not set to follow Mr Whitehorn's timetable."It's potentially an exciting area. Galactic as a whole may at some point in the future continue to work beyond looking at future projects," Virgin Galactic's CEO George Whitesides told the BBC. "It's an area we continue to think about."He rejected the suggestion that the US government's technology export laws had in anyway contributed to the project's lack of progress.In the meantime, the company continues to test its carrier aircraft ("Eve") and its spacecraft.Sir Richard told a business conference in Kuala Lumpur last week that Galactic was on track to offer its short hops above the atmosphere for paying passengers within 18 months.The fares to board the spacecraft SpaceShipTwo ("Enterprise") start at $200,000. The company has already taken deposits from more than 300 hopeful passengers.
ЦитироватьНу вот, собсно, то, о чем так долго говорили большевики Воздушный старт с WK-2.
ЦитироватьLauncherOne: Virgin Galactic's other project[/size]Jonathan Amos | 14:35 UK time, Tuesday, 10 November 2009You are going to hear a lot in the next few weeks about Virgin Galactic, not least because on 7 December the company will unveil SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave Desert, California.This is the rocket plane Sir Richard Branson will use to take fare-paying passengers on sub-orbital flights in the coming years.In this posting, however, I want to concentrate on another Galactic project which is now gathering pace - the LauncherOne satellite system.Potential architecture for LauncherOneBack in January, I reported on early discussions between the Branson outfit and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford.SSTL is a world leader in the production of low-cost small satellites, and it was keen to explore the possibility of working with Virgin Galactic on a way to get these spacecraft into orbit much more cheaply than is currently possible.The concept would be somewhat similar to the US Pegasus system, which uses a former airliner to lift a booster to 40,000ft, before releasing it to make its own way into space.Virgin Galactic's aim is to provide an air-launched system which is faster, cheaper, and more flexible.It would use SpaceShipTwo's mothership, "Eve", as the launch platform.Dr Adam Baker, then at SSTL, was hoping for some money from the UK government to do a small feasibility study. The hope was that if things came together, LauncherOne could be a UK-built rocket despatched by Eve running out of a British airport somewhere.Well, the money wasn't immediately forthcoming and Dr Baker has now moved across to Virgin Galactic to lead its own in-house efforts to give the project momentum.So where are we? Dr Baker has been in post little more than a month. He's speaking to anyone and everyone, from those who might be interested in helping to build such a launcher to those who might want to use it to put a payload into orbit.Certainly, there's a compelling need for a cheaper, more flexible launch system for small satellites.At the moment, companies like SSTL are in a less than satisfactory position.They often have to wait on the availability of converted Soviet-era missiles, such as Dnepr. This can add months to the timeline of a project.Sometimes, the launches can get bumped by "more urgent" Russian military payloads, or have to wait while a problem on a satellite co-passenger is resolved (small satellites on a Dnepr are launched in batches).The issue for LauncherOne, of course, is cost.At the moment, a small satellite wanting to get into space may have to pay something like $5m-$10m. Virgin Galactic really has to get that down to $1m-$2m for this venture to make financial sense.And to make that happen, Dr Baker believes the development cost of the rocket to first flight also needs to be kept the right side $100m: "The less we can spend developing this, the easier it is going to be to recoup the cost, and the lower the launch price can be. "Historically, rockets that have been developed from scratch have cost a lot more than $100m. We want to take as much advantage from all the previous 50 years of effort in designing launch vehicles to get the best from the market." The British imperative is still there. If this vehicle can come out of the UK, so much the better, says Dr Baker. He'd love nothing better than for LauncherOne to be a UK-led initiative. But Virgin will not be overly sentimental about this. It's a business.Interestingly, feasibility studies have been done in this field before in the UK, including on the possibility of using a Vulcan bomber as the platform for an air-launched satellite service. At least one small assessment has found the economics don't stack up.Perhaps Virgin Galactic and British industry can show otherwise.Who'd have thought before Brian Binnie and Mike Melville made their historic flights in SpaceShipOne that trips on a civil spaceliner would soon be possible?
ЦитироватьEXCLUSIVE PICTURES: Virgin Galactic LauncherOne designs revealedBy Rob Coppinger on November 5, 2009 3:32 PMcredit: Virgin Galactic / caption: why the straigth wing and v-tail?This design for Virgin Galactic's mini satellite launching rocket LauncherOne was shown by the company's small satellite launch general manager Adam Baker at the 60th International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, Korea in October. For a more colourful LauncherOne design click through to the extended portion of this blog postlauncherone 2.JPGcredit: Virgin Galactic / caption: This colourful design appears to have a SpaceShipOne like wing and canards. A flyback booster?
ЦитироватьЦитироватьНу вот, собсно, то, о чем так долго говорили большевики Воздушный старт с WK-2.А Пегас тем временем отдыхает?
ЦитироватьВобщем насколько я понял с суборбитальным туризмом очередное фиаско, стрелки срочно переводятся на наноракету для наноспутников?
ЦитироватьЦитироватьНу вот, собсно, то, о чем так долго говорили большевики Воздушный старт с WK-2.А Пегас тем временем отдыхает? Вобщем насколько я понял с суборбитальным туризмом очередное фиаско, стрелки срочно переводятся на наноракету для наноспутников?
ЦитироватьБоже, у него еще и велосипедное шасси!
ЦитироватьТам по-английски написано, что с туризмом все хорошо...
ЦитироватьЦитироватьБоже, у него еще и велосипедное шасси! Фюзеляжей два.
ЦитироватьЦитироватьЦитироватьВоздушный старт с WK-2.А Пегас тем временем отдыхает?А что, Пегас - непревзойденный образец дешевизны и эффективности?
ЦитироватьЦитироватьВоздушный старт с WK-2.А Пегас тем временем отдыхает?
ЦитироватьВоздушный старт с WK-2.
ЦитироватьМинотавр и Торус (который не II) его прекрасно заменяют, а самолета для них не надо.-- Pete
ЦитироватьVirgin Galactic launcher delayed[/size]by Sean McLachlan (RSS feed) on Oct 2nd 2010 at 1:00PMWe've covered space tourism company Virgin Galactic a lot here on Gadling. What hasn't gotten so much discussion is LauncherOne, a rocket that would take off from the WhiteKnightTwo mother ship, the same ship that carries SpaceshipTwo. While SpaceShipTwo is a space plane that would detach from the mother ship and fly into the high atmosphere, LauncherOne is a more conventional rocket that would carry a satellite weighing up to 440 lbs into low orbit.Originally it was supposed to start sending satellites into space a year after the space tourism business started, but now LauncherOne is in trouble. The manager of the project has left and there's no timetable for getting the system operational. One UK satellite company has backed out of discussions about using LauncherOne.Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson said the tourism business is still on track and will start sending tourists into the highest reaches of the atmosphere within 18 months at the price of $200,000 a pop. More than three hundred people have already signed up.What does LauncherOne's troubles mean for space tourism? That's not so clear. While the LauncherOne isn't part of Virgin Galactic's tourism service, it makes the whole program more financially viable. Without the fees charged to satellite owners to use LauncherOne, Virgin Galactic may have to raise its prices or shove in more passengers. Will coach class come to space? Stay tuned.[Photo courtesy Mark Greenberg and Virgin Galactic]
ЦитироватьPotential architecture for LauncherOne
ЦитироватьРазработка частной ракеты LauncherOne заморожена[/size]04 октября 2010 года, 12:38 | Текст: Дмитрий ЦеликовТак и хочется воскликнуть: «Не верю!» Но увы: будущее частной ракеты-носителя LauncherOne, в которую вложено $110 млн инвестиций, оказалось под вопросом. Американскую компанию Virgin Galactic покинул руководитель проекта. Владелец потенциального гиганта индустрии космического туризма сэр Ричард Брэнсон тут же стал очень осторожен в своих прогнозах. Предполагалось, что LauncherOne всего за $1–2 млн сможет выводить на орбиту спутники массой до 200 кг. В свою очередь запускать ракету в воздух должен самолёт WhiteKnightTwo, разрабатываемый той же компанией. Он, как вы помните, будет также поднимать на суборбитальную высоту космический аппарат SpaceShipTwo с туристами, желающими несколько минут побыть в невесомости и полюбоваться красивыми видами. История LauncherOne началось в июле 2009 года, когда фонд Aabar Investment из Абу-Даби пообещал выделить уже упомянутые $110 млн, если выяснится, что проект будет иметь коммерческий смысл. В конце того же года Ричард Брэнсон нанял в качестве главного конструктора Адама Бейкера из Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, британского производителя маленьких космических аппаратов. Эта фирма планировала заняться разработкой аналогичной ракеты ещё в 2008 году, но не получила финансирования от своего правительства. Уже в октябре 2009-го президент Virgin Galactic Уилл Уайтхорн заявил, что запуск LauncherOne состоится через год после возникновения рынка суборбитального туризма. На прошлой неделе г-н Брэнсон заявил на конференции в Куала-Лумпур, что первые пассажиры отправятся в космос через каких-то полтора года. О LauncherOne теперь — ни слова. Неизвестными остались и причины ухода г-на Бейкера и фактической заморозки проекта: неужели он был настолько незаменим? Слухи о том, что это как-то связано с законом об экспорте технологий из США (Virgin Group, которой принадлежит Virgin Galactic, — британская корпорация), опровергнуты. Подготовлено по материалам Би-би-си.
ЦитироватьUK Tycoon Branson Plans To Launch Satellites[/size]By ReutersJuly 11, 2012Flamboyant British businessman Richard Branson, whose Virgin empire has encompassed airlines, music stores, mobile phones and condoms, is turning his hand to launching satellites.The serial entrepreneur and part-time daredevil, who is already working on taking passengers into suborbital space, said on Wednesday the carrier jet for those commercial flights would double up as an aerial platform for launching small satellites.Fresh from kite surfing across the English Channel, Branson took the stage at the Farnborough Airshow on Wednesday to unveil LauncherOne, a companion satellite-launching business to Virgin Galactic's passenger suborbital spaceflight service."I believe this new vehicle will create a long-overdue shakeup of the whole satellite industry, disrupting current norms and limitations in exactly the way SpaceShipTwo has for human space travel and space-based science research," he said.Virgin Galactic has taken deposits from 529 people for rides on SpaceShipTwo, which cost $200,000.The six-passenger, two-pilot spaceship, currently undergoing testing, is based on Scaled Composites' prototype SpaceShipOne, which clinched the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004 for the first privately-funded human spaceflights.Branson said he plans to fly with his three children on the first operational SpaceShipTwo flight next year.Like SpaceShipTwo, LauncherOne will be flown into the air beneath a carrier jet and released. Once separated, the vehicle's rocket engine will fire to carry it into space.SpaceShipTwo passengers will experience of few minutes of weightlessness and see the curve of Earth set against the blackness of space before returning back through the atmosphere. NASA's first two manned spaceflights in 1961, by Alan Shepard and Virgil "Gus" Grissom, were similar suborbital flights.LauncherOne, which is designed for cargo only, will be able to put satellites weighing up to 500 pounds into orbit for less than $10 million.Virgin Galactic president George Whitesides said four companies, including Planetary Resources, a newly unveiled venture to build and fly privately-funded space telescopes, have put down deposits for LauncherOne flights.Initially, both SpaceShipTwo and LauncherOne missions will be staged from Spaceport America, a new commercial spaceport in New Mexico.Virgin Galactic's initial fleet includes five spaceships and three White Knight carrier aircraft.LauncherOne, a two-stage liquid-fueled rocket being developed by The Spaceship Company (TSC) of Mojave, Calif., is expected to debut in 2016. TSC is a partnership of Virgin Galactic and Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman.[/size]
ЦитироватьVirgin Reveals LauncherOne Plan[/size]By Guy Norris email@example.comSource: AWIN FirstJuly 11, 2012Virgin Galactic has officially unveiled a low-cost, small satellite launch system that builds on elements of its space tourism development.The LauncherOne system will deliver payloads up to 500 lb. to low Earth orbit, and with a target price of under $10 million per launch, is aimed at dramatically cutting the cost of launching small satellites.Backed by Virgin Galactic's partner Aabar Investments, the development of the "new vehicle will create a long-awaited shake-up of the satellite launch industry," Virgin founder Richard Branson says.The system is based on a 30,000-lb.-class, winged vehicle that will be carried to around 50,000 ft. for air launch by the WhiteKnightTwo mother ship developed as the carrier aircraft for the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital vehicle.LauncherOne will be powered by a two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket, now in initial development by Virgin Galactic. The same rocket also is intended to ultimately replace the non-reusable RM2 hybrid motor that will power the SS2 to suborbit, Virgin says.The RM2 is in the final stages of development by Sierra Nevada Space Systems and "all major components have now been qualified for powered flight," according to Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. The RM2 is the major pacing item to the start of rocket-powered flight tests of SS2, which are expected to start by year's end. Assuming tests go as planned, Virgin hopes to start initial suborbital passenger flights by the end of 2013.Initial LauncherOne flights are due to start in 2015, with commercial flights getting under way by 2016. The development will run closely in parallel with Virgin Galactic's recently awarded Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (Alasa) program, a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) initiative to design air-launch systems that can orbit payloads below 100 lb. for $1 million, including range costs.Virgin is one of three winners of the initial Alasa contract, along with Boeing and Lockheed Martin. This $46 million, 18-month first phase runs through September 2013, when Darpa plans another competition to select at least one team to conduct up to 36 launches in 2015.Initial customers for the LauncherOne include Skybox Imaging, a California-based developer of a high-resolution imaging constellation, and GeoOptics, which is working on non-imaging remote sensing systems. Others are smallsat aggregator Spaceflight, and Planetary Resources, the recently launched asteroid mining venture.[/size]