Skip to comments.Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Elon Musk's SpaceX could face new competition for military launches
Posted on 11/17/2017 10:29:27 AM PST by Elderberry
On Thursday, Virgin Orbit won a contract from the Air Force to carry "technology demonstration satellites" on its LauncherOne rocket by early 2019. The LauncherOne rocket will be "air launched" from a modified Boeing 747 called "Cosmic Girl."
The contract follows Branson's quiet launch earlier this month of Vox Space, a subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, that will focus on military contracts.
While there is plenty of room in space, the launchpad is becoming more crowded. That's good news for the Pentagon as it looks toward increased competition and embracing new technology like reusable rockets to lower launch costs.
United Launch Alliance, a Boeing-Lockheed joint venture, had a monopoly on military launches until Elon Musk of Tesla (TSLA) fame entered the scene with SpaceX. Defense officials have since acknowledged that the new competition from SpaceX is helping to speed up the industry and reduce costs.
(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...
"One such project is OneWeb, which looks to build a network for global broadband access and plans to launch the first of its 700 satellites next year.
Meanwhile, Boeing already has a plan to develop, launch and operate a constellation of 3,000 satellites in low Earth orbit
Last year, Musk's SpaceX filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission to launch its own constellation of 800 satellites."
Call your girlfriend up on your ordinary handset from your yacht in the very middle of the Pacific..!
Or from the top of Everest.
Just watched a show on the Science Channel — space junk is going to become a huge factor in the next 20 or so years. Time to develop giant dustpan for LEO.
If a LEO constellation of satellites could be build and deployed that interacted with ordinary GSM handsets, that would open up an entire new market not only for isolated locations, but as gap fillers and even as in-flight entertainment service.
Thanks Elderberry. A low-budget, small payload launch company (or perhaps merely a purported etc) just had its boss busted for financial stuff. After watching Elon's electric semi presentation this morning, I've come to realize that he's a natural-born salesman, as well as a huckster on a level not seen since P.T. Barnum. And yes, I do like both of 'em. :^)
“If a LEO constellation of satellites could be build and deployed that interacted with ordinary GSM handsets,”
Just don’t expect GSM latency or throughput.
There are already a lot of broadband satellites in orbit and sat air-time is expensive and limited. And in flight entertainment is already using them. That and also ships are sea are just about the only users.
Musk thinks he will get a bunch of third world types on facebook and send them enough adds to pay for an 800 satellite constellation.
I’m sooo excited, finally a cheap way to launch congress in orbit; that would solve sooo many problems.
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