Virgin Galactic, the company that is already developing the WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combination for $200,000 suborbital joyrides, could soon announce a new spacecraft, analysts believe. The vehicle could be used to deliver small satellites and other payloads to low-Earth orbit.
The announcement is expected to come from British billionaire Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic. According to those in-the-know, the new initiative is expected to go by the name of Virgin Galactic Cargo, and to be oriented towards the small payload market.
The latter is currently growing at an accelerated pace, on account of the significant advancements that were made on NanoSats and CubeSats. These spacecraft can now fit more capabilities in smaller volumes, and are becoming the platform of choice for operators, instead of bulkier, more expensive ones.
Branson is scheduled to speak at the Farnborough International Airshow, to be held in the United Kingdom next month, and experts expect him to make the announcement then, Space