Stratolaunch axles launch vehicle and rocket engine projects

These launchers are still in the "design study" phase, and the first should debut in 2022. The company has already tested a key component of its hydrogen and oxygen-powered rocket engine named after its founder, PGA, for Paul G. Allen - but it looks like the project is no longer complete.

A spokesman said in a statement sent to the publication:

"Stratolaunch completes the development of its family of launchers and rocket engines, streamlining operations and focusing on the aircraft and our ability to support a demonstration launch of the Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL launch vehicle, we are very proud of what we do We made it and look forward to the first flight in 2019. "

Stratolaunch is reported to be leaving 50 employees and only holding 20 to continue working on its giant aircraft, preparing it for its first test flight this year. The massive twin-hull aircraft, which weighs 500,000 pounds and has a wingspan of 385 feet, was designed to transport smaller launcher rockets and their payloads like belly-to-belly satellites. It is a reusable launch vehicle that carries its payload high enough and then releases it during the flight.

Unfortunately, the spokesman did not explain why the company is deferring its operations, but the costs that the company keeps running may have something to do with it. As GeekWire The founders of other aviation companies have used their own money to finance their space dreams. Both Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson each invested about $ 1 billion in Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.