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Virgin Galactic buys Boeing 747 for LauncherOne
Posted: Sun, Dec 6, 2015, 10:02 AM ET (1502 GMT)
Virgin Galactic LauncherOne 747 illustration (Virgin Galactic) Virgin Galactic unveiled Thursday a Boeing 747 that will serve as the carrier aircraft for its LauncherOne smallsat vehicle. The 747, previously owned by Virgin Atlantic, will be modified to allow LauncherOne to attach to the plane's left wing. Using the 747, rather than Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo plane, allows the company to increase the size of LauncherOne, doubling its payload performance. Modifications to the 747 will be done in late 2016, and LauncherOne test launches are planned for some time in 2017.
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