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LauncherOne

LauncherOne with B747-400 [Virgin Galactic]

LauncherOne [Virgin Galactic]

Virgin Galactic announced in July 2012 the design of its new LauncherOne air-launched space launch system.

LauncherOne is an expendable, two stage rocket with liquid RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen as propellants . The first stage is powered by the Newton-3 engine. The second stage, featuring the Newton-1 engine, is reignitable for orbit insertion. Payloads will be accommodated within a fairing approximately 1 meter in diameter, with a cylindrical shape for the first 77 cm and a conical section above.

LauncherOne is being developed by The Spaceship Company (TSC) of Mojave. TSC is a partnership of Virgin Galactic and Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. The stages and shroud, including structures, engines, and Launch Vehicle/Pylon Interface, will be manufactured at TSCís FAITH production facility. Other components, such as avionics and secondary subsystems will be delivered to the production facility by world-class suppliers.

After lift-off with the carrier aircraft, LauncherOne will be released from the airplane at an altitude of approximately 15 km above mean sea level. LauncherOne will free fall for approximately four seconds before the first stage ignites. The two stages operate in sequence, with the potential for the second stage to relight, and the payload is delivered to a designated low-earth orbit.

Originally it was to use the same WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) mother ship as the manned suborbital SpaceShipTwo. Sometimes in 2014, the concept was scaled up for increased performance, using the larger NewtonThree and NewtonFour engines and a Boeing 747-400 carrier plane called "Cosmic Girl" replacing the smaller WhiteKnightTwo.

A maiden launch is planned for 2017. Initially, LauncherOne missions will be staged from Mojave Spaceport. Virgin Galactic has completed launch assessments the primary launch site of the Mojave Air and Spaceport (MHV) in California and for a variety of operating locations including the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia. Virgin Galactic is prepared to obtain approvals to operate in locations other than Mojave based on customer interest.

Version Aircraft Stage 1 Stage 2
LauncherOne Boeing 747-400 ? Stage 1 / NewtonThree Stage 2 / NewtonFour
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
LauncherOne 500 300 - - - -
No.TypNo Type           Fl.No  Date          LS      Aircraft       Payload 

none


planned launches:

 1    1  LauncherOne           xx.xx.2017    Mo      B-747-400      ?
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.2017    Mo      B-747-400      MiTEE 1 / MakerSat 0 / (15-30 NASA ELaNa-20 CubeSats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 x    x  LauncherOne           xx.xx.201x    Mo      B-747-400      OneWeb (1-3 sats)
 

Launch sites:

CC  = NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA USA
Mo  = Mojave Air and Space Port, Mojave, California, USA USA
WI  = Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, USA USA