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The competition heats up: This week Virgin Galactic’s successfully completed a long duration static fire test of the first stage engine of its LauncherOne smallsat rocket.
I predict that LauncherOne will fly its first commercial flight before Unity, the company’s second SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, and it will do it multiple times. In fact, right now I firmly believe that Unity is never going to reach suborbital space, as they have designed it for an engine that simply doesn’t work, and can’t figure out how to redesign it to solve the problem.
LauncherOne meanwhile has at least one launch contract, and is being designed with a workable engine, right from the start.