Image credit: Virgin Galactic
One of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 747 Jumbo’s is to get a new role as the launch platform for Virgin Galactic’s new satellite rocket.
The aircraft, that was named Cosmic Girl when it flew the famous red colours of the airline founded by Sir Richard Branson, will get new blue Virgin Galactic livery.
It will fly the satellite rocket, capable of launching small satellites into space, to high altitude before releasing its payload.
Branson said: “The Boeing 747 has a very special place in my heart: we began service on my first airline, Virgin Atlantic, with just one leased 747.
“I never imagined that today one of our 747s would get a second chance and help open access to space. I’m absolutely thrilled that Cosmic Girl can stay in the Virgin family – and truly live up to her name.”
Virgin hopes to take a share of the lucrative satellite market with its LauncherOne rocket, charging $10 million for each mission.
The 747 launchpad was brought in after Virgin had to alter the dimensions of the rocket which made it too big to use the aircraft being developed for trips to space under the Galactic brand.
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