Last week, NASA announced that it had selected Virgin Galactic as a partner in its Collaborative Opportunities program. As part of this new partnership, NASA will provide Virgin Galactic with technical expertise and access to test facilities to aid the development of our LauncherOne small satellite launch service. Specifically, NASA’s Ames Research Center experts will provide analysis, simulation, and expertise related to LauncherOne’s concept of operations, aerodynamics system, thermal protection systems, and materials.
This announcement represents our third competitively-bid partnership with NASA; previously, NASA announced it has purchased flights on board both SpaceShipTwo and LauncherOne, with which it will fly dozens of experiments and small satellites built by universities, start-ups, and government labs. While we are proud to be a privately-funded and commercially-operated business, we are also thrilled to be working with an organization as iconic and successful as NASA.
To paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton, for whom we have named our family of liquid-fuelled rocket engines, we are able to open the space frontier largely because we do so standing “on the shoulders of giants.” Thanks to NASA and other organizations that took the first pioneering steps in humanity’s exploration of the cosmos, new space companies such as Virgin Galactic and all our partners are now commercializing technologies that will open access to space for even more people.
Our hearty thanks go out to our colleagues at NASA, and our congratulations go to those other companies selected.
Source: Virgin Galactic
Date: Nov 23, 2015