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8/27/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Stratolaunch announces family of launch vehicles

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The company’s air-launch system will launch vehicles carrying satellites to multiple orbits and inclinations on a single mission. 

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Stratolaunch (Seattle, WA, US) announced on Aug. 20 its new family of launch vehicles that will enter regular service starting in 2020. The company’s air-launch system will use the world’s largest aircraft as a mobile launch platform, capable of deploying launch vehicles that will carry satellites to multiple orbits and inclinations on a single mission. 

The updated launch offering from Stratolaunch includes the following vehicles:

  • Pegasus:  Current track record of over 35 successful launches.
    • Capability: 370 kg payload* for a single or triple configuration
    • Status: Flight proven, integration and testing ongoing with first flight in 2020
  • Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV): A new medium-class air-launch vehicle optimized for short satellite integration timelines, affordable launch and flexible launch profiles.
    • Capability: 3,400 kg payload*
    • Status: In development with first flight in 2022
  • Medium Launch Vehicle – Heavy: A three-core MLV variant with capability to deploy heavier payloads to orbit.
    • Capability: 6,000 kg payload*
    • Status: Early development
  • Space Plane: A fully reusable space plane that enables advanced in-orbit capabilities and cargo return. Initial designs optimized for cargo launch, with a follow-on variant capable of transporting crew.
    • Capability: Medium-class payload or crew
    • Status: Design study

Stratolaunch will be sharing more on these launch vehicles and on our vision for improved access to before the end of 2018. 

*Estimated performance for a 400 km circular orbit at 28.5°

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