Virgin Goes Galactic With Satellites
2009 08 02

From: telegraph.co.uk


Virgin Galactic is developing a launcher that could propel satellites


Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is developing plans to use its space tourism vehicle WhiteKnightTwo as a platform to launch commercial satellites by 2012

The company is working with UK space exploration company Surrey Small Satellites on plans to develop a launcher that could propel a 200kg satellite into space at roughly 10pc the cost of current technology.

Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic said: "We have the technology and the investment to put this together. We hope to develop a preliminary satellite launch vehicle ourselves, but will go to the wider market to produce something capable of carrying 200kg, which we believe is the sweet spot in the market."

Mr Whitehorn said that the company hoped to have proposals to put to the market for the development of the satellite launch vehicle in the next four months.

Virgin Galactic has secured $100m of funding from Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments for the commercial satellite business on top of the $280m co-investment in its space tourism business announced last week. The extra investment would take Aabar's stake in Virgin Galactic from 32pc to 38pc.

The satellite business will target the growing market for low-orbit earth observation and communication satellites.

According to Mr Whitehorn, it could also be used to start construction of server farms in space and to create mobile and broadband networks that could serve areas such as Africa that do not have good cable networks.

Although the development is in its early stages, it could provide a significant boost to the UK space industry, which according to Mr Whitehorn employs around 70,000 people and represents £2.5bn per year in net exports.

Mr Whitehorn said: "This is a hidden industry in the UK but a very important one. In terms of net exports it is bigger than the car industry.

"We hope to be able to use the development of our commercial satellite business to leverage off the tourism work we are already doing and to add real value to the UK economy."

Source: Vtelegraph.co.uk

Virgin Galactic Strikes Deal with Swedish Government




Related Articles
Virgin Galactic Strikes Deal with Swedish Government
Billionaire Picks One-Horse Town To Start Space Empire
Virgin unveils spaceship designs
virgingalactic.com


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »