Stratolaunch ends plan to build rockets for its giant Roc aircraft

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Capitalism in space: Stratolaunch has decided to cease work on the family of second stage rockets plus engine, announced in August and September 2018, that would have launched from the bottom of its giant Roc airplane.

Instead, they will only launch Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus rockets from Roc.

This does not look good for the company. Roc is vastly oversized for Pegasus, which really doesn’t need it. It also suggests that the death of Paul Allen has had a bad effect on the company.



  • Ron Menich

    Hardly surprising. Air-launch is not that compelling. So now that Paul Allen died, there’s some rationalization happening.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they go out of business in a couple of years.

  • pzatchok

    The Roc was never needed.

    Especially once a re-usable first stage was developed. Space-X

    All rockets of the Pegasus class could still be launched from the Stargazer aircraft.

    The reason for for all this is just to place a satellite into orbit. Unless it needs to go up in an emergency inside a week then it can be planned ahead of time and catch a ride on a larger rocket for a smaller price.

    Cost savings are not panning out as fast as catching a ride on a larger rocket and might never pan out.

  • Col Beausabre

    I fail to see why Allen’s demise has had an impact – Stratolaunch was committed to the aircraft and building its own rockets long before his death. If there are different market conditions now that make those choices seem unwise, well, that’s the joy of running a business. What would Allen do differently than today’s management considering the financial and marketing projections they now have? As for Allen, Musk or anyone else being “essential”, I’ve always liked Charles DeGaulle’s (arguably France’s “essential” figure in the Twentieth Century) answer, “The graveyards of the world are filled with “indispensable” men”

  • wayne

    “Something Even You Have Never Seen…”

  • pzatchok

    If you run a non profitable businesses and your money man dies……..

    Just continuously gathering investment capital does not count as profitable.

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