Spacecraft will be launched from the world’s largest aircraft.
Stratolaunch announced Monday the development a new family of launch vehicles to accompany their current air-launch system. Scheduled to begin service in 2020, the new launch vehicles will carry satellites to multiple orbits and inclinations on a single mission, in the hopes of making access to space more convenient, affordable, and routine.
Stratolaunch, also created the launch vehicle, currently the world’s largest aircraft. Flying has covered the development and testing of Stratolaunch since 2011.
The first of the delivery systems to enter service will be “Pegasus,” in 2020. “Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV)” is currently in development, and is set to make its first flight in 2022. Two more boosters, “Medium Launch Vehicle – Heavy,” and “Space Plane,” are also in development with unknown dates for their first flights.
“We are excited to share for the first time some details about the development of our own, proprietary Stratolaunch launch vehicles, with which we will offer a flexible launch capability unlike any other,” said Jean Floyd, Chief Executive Officer at Stratolaunch, in the release. “Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight.”