The company Stratolaunch Systems, which created the mostthe world's largest two-body carrier aircraft may soon close. It is reported by Reuters news agency, referring to four anonymous sources close to this issue. At the same time, the official representative of the company, at the request of Reuters itself, commented on the situation that at the time they did not intend to make any statements and the company would continue to work.
What makes Stratolaunch Systems famous?
Recall that Stratolaunch Systems, which appearedon the market in 2011, is known to the general public not only due to the name of its founder Paul Allen (also known as co-founder of Microsoft), but also the development of the two-body Stratolaunch carrier aircraft with the largest wingspan in the world of 117.3 meters fuselage equal to 72.5 meters. The mass of the machine is 226.8 tons, and its maximum carrying capacity is 589.7 tons. The aircraft was planned to be used as a flying launch system for launching rockets and spaceplanes. In particular, it was about the launch of Pegasus XL series missiles, developed by Northrop Grumman. By 2019, the car rolled out only a few times to the runway, and its first and so far test flight took place in April.
In addition to the two-body aircraft, the company alsoworked on their own devices for the withdrawal of payloads into orbit. The plan was to create a PGA hydrogen engine, MLV and MLV Heavy rockets, as well as Hypers-A and Hyper-Z hypersonic spaceplanes. But only three months after the death of Paul Allen, Stratolaunch Systems decided to abandon these developments, closed these projects, and decided to focus exclusively on the carrier aircraft.
"Stratolaunch stops developing familylaunchers and rocket engine. We will optimize and direct all forces to the design of the flying platform and its preparation for the demonstration launch of the new Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket. We are proud of our achievements and look forward to the first flight to be held in 2019, ”the company said in an official statement.
The company that created the largest aircraft in the world, closes?
According to Reuters, the company is soontime can completely shut down. On condition of anonymity, agency sources said Stratolaunch Systems had decided to abandon the competition with traditional aerospace companies and was about to stop working. According to one source, by April 1, the company had only 21 employees, although in December their number was 77. Reuters also managed to find out that over the past few months, several company employees had moved to other private aerospace agencies, including Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada Corporation.
According to another agency interlocutor,The private company Vulcan, which owns the property rights of Paul Allen, is exploring the possible sale of property and intellectual property to Stratolaunch Systems. According to a third source, the decision to start the process of closing the company's business and its exit from the market was made last year by sister Paul Alain Jody Allen, who is the chairman of the board of directors of Vulcan, as well as a proxy of Paul Allen himself.
Reuters failed to get officialcomments from the Vulcan itself. The representative of Stratolaunch Systems, in turn, briefly replied that the company "currently has no news or announcements," adding that the company will continue to work. The news agency also notes that the representative of Northrop Grumman, whose subsidiary has a contract with Stratolaunch Systems to launch the Pegasus rocket, refused to discuss this topic.
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