back to article UK gov to fund Virgin mothership micro-sat launcher

The British government is reportedly prepared to fund development of a rocket able to put small satellites into orbit, launched from the WhiteKnightTwo "mothership" piggyback jet which will carry Richard Branson's planned space-tourism rocketplanes to startup altitude. Flight International reports today that "a senior official" …

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Coat

I do so hope they name it Mary

Geddit? Virgin? Mothership?

No?

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Pirate

perhaps...

they should be made to put their old toys away first? how long until metal firms get into the "harvesting" space debris?

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Top stuff

Well spent public dosh (imo)

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Black Helicopters

when do they all crash into each other's debris ?

If they put enough satellites in orbit eventually we could have a chain reaction resulting in so much orbital space debris that life expectancy of a satellite prior to something crashing into it doesn't cover the cost of launch.

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Global warming -- more like global dimming!

With all that shinny metal floating around above us reflecting light and heat, global warming will be a thing of the past! Keep up the good work!

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Boffin

Shock news. British space agency spends money on space launch.

This is potentially good news. However the history of Pegasus is not good.

Originally costed at c$6m it is currently about $15m a launch with cost per lb between 15-20$k. It may be coincidence that as US Govt contracts cap the allowed profit margin "regrettably" having to double the price means doubling the absolute amount of profit. And the propellant supply company (3 stage solid) is a part owner of the joint venture. Their prices do not seem to be capped. Sort of like the railway leasing companies who were sold the UK train networks rolling stock for £72m all in. Currently worth about £2bn.

Then there is the US Govt and its totally para ITAR regs. Described by one judge as "preemptive censoring of the freedom of speech" and a US liaison to Congress as the nearest thing to a protection racket he'd ever seen.

Provided these can be avoided there is potentially a large field of suppliers who could deliver rocket stages at least as safe as that for SpaceShip Two. It would be very surprising if given a clean sheet they went the Pegasus root. UK suppliers, European, Japanese. Iran anyone?

It would be nice to see some of the profits from its Leicester theme park put to a good use.

TTFN

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"through to the end"?

"LauncherOne" project will receive UK government backing "through to the end" - yeah right - through to the end..of the month

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