Doug Messier at his website Parabolic Arc today asks some pertinent questions about Stratolaunch and their seeming inability to settle on the rocket that will be launched from the giant plane they are building.
After going through SpaceX and Orbital ATK, the company talked to anyone and everyone with a rocket engine or an idea for one. They must have hit pay dirt with someone. [emphasis in original]
As Messier notes, both SpaceX and Orbital ATK have, in that order, made and then broke their partnership with Stratolaunch. Both companies were supposed to build that rocket, but for unknown reasons decided soon after that they couldn’t do this job. Stratolaunch has since been looking for a third company to build that rocket, but apparently has not found it. This information strongly suggests that the rocket companies found some fundamental engineering or management problems at Stratolaunch that scared them off. These same issues are also making it difficult for Stratolaunch to find a third rocket company.
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