A flying Jumbo from future launch satellites to orbit. This idea is currently realizing the aerospace company billionaire Richard Branson’s from Virgin Galactic. A Boeing 747-400 is already being rebuilt.The Boeing 747, now on the name “cosmic girl” is been baptized, is a former passenger aircraft, which flew for many years for Virgin Atlantic across the Atlantic. The company suffered some setbacks in the past from his target to fly passengers into outer space.
Future missiles with satellites to from the ground or floating platforms no longer start, but hang under the wings of the jumbo and start in about 11,000 meters altitude. This Virgin Galactic thinks however of small satellites. First test flights are scheduled to begin in 2017, the normal operation is planned for 2018.
Virgin Galactic itself has developed missiles
The rockets used for these launches is developments by Virgin Galactic from their Engineering Center in long beach, California. The liquid fuel for the rocket consists of oxygen and kerosene. The LOX/RP-1 rocket called Newton three delivers a thrust of 33 t for 3 min.
After she split from. A Newton-four missile with 2.2 t thrust ensures the remaining journey into space. This drive is sufficient for 6 min flight time, and the rocket motor can be multiple depending on the needs and switched on. The jumbo jet returns after the missile launches to the departure airport, to be loaded for the next flight.
Each missile costs only $10 million
The technique of rocket launches from a flying airplane promises significant cost benefits. Virgin Galactic is called a fixed price of $10 million, currently about 9 million euros per rocket flight.
Several satellites in orbit can be placed on each flight. The number depends on the total weight of the satellite. Virgin Galactic was originally expecting average satellite weighing about 120 kg. That has increased in the meantime. In low orbits, the maximum weight of the satellite is located at 400 kg, approximately 200 kg for orbits at altitudes of 600 to 800 km.
OneWeb will bring satellite with jumbo in space
According to Board Member Jonathan Firth, already 39 Jumbo flights are tightly booked. There are options for another 100 flights. Largest customer is the British company OneWeb, where Airbus is involved, and that will carry small satellite with a maximum weight of less than 150 kg into space. With this small satellites to be built by Airbus, a fast Internet to cover rural areas should be rebuilt in the world.