Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch gets mysterious new owner. A few months later, Stratolaunch itself seemed at death's door, laying off three-quarters of its workforce and "ending the development" of the family of space rockets that would carry satellites into orbit. So, all told, Stratolaunch's future again looks quite bright. Allen’s holding company, Vulcan Inc., was Stratolaunch’s previous owner. Behold The First Flight Of A B-52 Bomber Carrying The AGM-183A Hypersonic Missile. The Stratolaunch aircraft, previously known as the Roc Carrier Aircraft and Scaled Composites Model 351, was the brainchild of AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Burt Rutan, who founded Scaled Composites. The past couple of years have been rough for Stratolaunch, the pioneering space launch company founded by Microsoft magnate Paul Allen. Eager to explore these possibilities, the Pentagon has already begun awarding contracts worth billions of dollars to hypersonics leader Lockheed Martin, even as other companies (Boeing, for example) spend millions of dollars of their own money playing catch-up. Steve Feinberg's profile picture from the Cerberus website. We Get You Going Faster. CNBC reported Stratolaunch was also seeking a buyer for its Roc superplane. Cerberus is a private equity firm that has focused on buying up "distressed" entities, those experiencing serious financial strain or outright in bankruptcy, with the idea of reorganizing them and profiting from their recovery. Stratolaunch is the world's largest airplane by wingspan, which stretches 385 feet — longer than an American football field. Stratolaunch was founded by Paul Allen in 2011 in an effort to develop an air launch to orbit system. Most recently, the U.S. Army laid out plans for a new three-part Hypersonic Test Engineering, Mission Planning and Systems concept, or HyTEMPS. How much its work will reflect the original vision of the late Paul Allen, in the end, remains to be seen. But then again, that particular market is already getting crowded, and I'm not at all certain Stratolaunch could have survived competition with rivals like Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab -- and SpaceX! NASA Global Hawks have already supported previous U.S. military hypersonic weapon testing. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This might have further prompted Stratolaunch's new management to move away from space launch services. "Stratolaunch grew from 13 to 87 employees over the past 2 months," Stratolaunch's CEO Floyd said in a Tweet on Dec. 10, 2019. Cory Bird. GeekWire See you at the top! It allows commercial, philanthropic, and governmental organizations to collect rich and actionable data and drive advancements in science, research, and technology from space. In 2018 Allen passed away, leaving Stratolaunch rudderless. Stratolaunch Systems is a private spaceflight company that aims to create an airborne launch system for spacecraft. Stratolaunch, with its world's-biggest-airplane, looks perfectly positioned to meet this demand. The U.S. government's demands for this kind of capability have only become more pronounced amid increasing demands for flexible and responsive space access to mitigate a variety of emerging threats to American interests in orbit, another topic the War Zone PROTN envisages a single networked architecture to rapidly share telemetry and other test data, as well as handle communications between participants in particular tests, who might be hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. In a brief statement Oct. 11, Stratolaunch said that it “transitioned ownership and is continuing regular operations.” The company had been owned … The billionaire entrepreneur founded Stratolaunch in … This, in turn, has substantially increased the demand for flight test capabilities. Vulcan, which had already been steadily scaling back the space launch firm's activities after Allen died, had first put it up for sale in June with a price tag of $400 million, including the Roc, a plane that cost at least $200 million to develop and build alone. Image source: Stratolaunch. It started showing signs of trouble in January this year, a … Stratolaunch itself, however, would have a new owner. But in 2018 and 2019, this dream came close to dying. Providing the most efficient path for transitioning hypersonic technologies from research to implementation. Stratolaunch was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011 to provide a fast, cost-effective air launch system for small satellites. The plane has the ability to launch its payload thousands of miles from where it took off, opening up the possibility of opening up addition flight test corridors. It is the brainchild of Microsoft co … At the same time, the commercial space launch marketplace has become increasingly crowded in recent years. One year after the billionaire founder’s death, the company listed 10 new jobs, including two in Seattle. On the one hand, yes, Stratolaunch's temporary shutdown hobbled its ability to race other providers of small satellite launch services into orbit. Stratolaunch is a company developing an air-launch platform. Floyd also indicated a shift away from Stratolaunch's original focus of providing space launch services using the Roc, which first flew in April, as a mothership to air-launch various vehicles to using that aircraft to support more terrestrial high-speed flight testing. Wingspan: 117 meters. Stratolaunch Systems — the aerospace company created by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — is changing ownership. Reports first emerged that Vulcan had sold Stratolaunch to an unnamed buyer in October. Whichever way the company ultimately goes from here, it looks like Stratolaunch has exited the market for space launch at just the right time ... and secured for itself a new lease on life as a player in the burgeoning defense market for hypersonics. The Air Force has already begun buying expendable air-launched hypersonic test vehicles, designated X-60As, to provide a less complicated and lower cost option for various basic hypersonic testing, including gathering data on how certain materials and systems hold up to the strain of flying at speeds in excess of Mach 7. The Air Force's B-52 bombers are presently the go-to option for tests of these kinds of air-launched vehicles, but on a small number of them are dedicated for research and development activities. Stratolaunch Systems — the aerospace company created by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — is changing ownership. It was announced in December 2011 and rolled out in May 2017. GeekWire got the scoop on the answer to that question last month, obtaining "business filings" from California and Washington state that showed Stratolaunch's new owner is none other than private equity powerhouse Cerberus Capital Management -- the same company that owns defense contractor DynCorp and rifle-makers Remington and Bushmaster. The aircraft features a twin-fuselage design and the longest wingspan ever flown, at 385 feet (117 m), surpassing the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat of 321 feet (98 m). He has been chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board since May 2018. Mr Allen, who owns the start-up Stratolaunch Systems, has unveiled the Stratolaunch, a plane that is more than twice the length of a Boeing with a … Stratolaunch could potentially leverage existing development work it did on its own family of space launch vehicles with various payload capacities, including a reusable space plane known as Black Ice, to provide additional testing capacity. Feinberg himself has strong ties to President Donald Trump and his administration. MISSION: To be the world’s leading provider of high-speed flight test services," he added in his Tweet. The United States has a long-standing interest in the development of these capabilities, which you can read about in more detail in these past War Zone stories. This oddball Frankenstein plane, invented by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is designed to launch rockets into space. © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) Brookline Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Stratolaunch owns the world’s biggest airplane, a twin-fuselage monster with a 385-foot wingspan, and sent it up into the sky from Mojave Air and Space Port for its first and only test flight in April. Length: 73 meters. Market data powered by FactSet and Web Financial Group. Near the same time the Reuters report came out, rumors began flying that Stratolaunch was looking to sell itself off in pieces, possibly preparing to be dissolved. The Ascent is The Motley Fool's new personal finance brand devoted to helping you live a richer life. This is the Stratolaunch, and it’s measured the largest to ever fly based on wingspan. Stratolaunch is owned by his holding/investment company, Vulcan, which has investments in a lot of companies. Stratolaunch Systems is owned by Vulcan, which manages the estate of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Between the airplane's twin fuselages, there's room to carry test vehicles with wingspans up to 90 feet. Cerberus Capital Management acquired Stratolaunch Systems including the Stratolaunch aircraft in October 2019. “Stratolaunch is developing an air-launch platform to contribute to high-speed research and development," a canned statement at the beginning of each current job offering says. Empty weight: 226,796 kilograms. Unlike Paul Allen, who regularly talked about the wonders of space and the future of space travel, Cerberus, and its billionaire owner Steve Feinberg, has long cultivated a more controversial and mercenary image, both figuratively and literally. The firm had announced it had canceled all of those projects in January 2019 and would instead focus solely on getting the Roc ready to launch the relatively small, but proven Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL onto the aircraft. Stratolaunch. By June (2019), Reuters was reporting that management was ready to give up the ghost entirely, sell off the Roc to another owner, and close down operations at Stratolaunch for good. Rather than try out that thesis, though, Stratolaunch is exiting this market stage left, and leaving its rivals to battle for space market share without it. Neither Vulcan nor Cerberus has said what the final agreed-upon price was. The company announced today that … Nearly 40 more hypersonic weapon flight tests are set to occur over the next four years. The Stratolaunch, the world's largest aircraft by wingspan, is on sale for $400 million. Stratolaunch, founded by the late Paul Allen to develop an air-launch system, has “transitioned” ownership, is not disclosing who the new owner is. It can be a challenge just to track and observe the flights of these vehicles, let alone collect important test data and simply provide adequate physical space to explore the full capabilities that they offer. Stratolaunch did not identify its new owner Friday, or details on the type of launch vehicle it seeks to develop. MOJAVE, Calif. (Scaled Composites PR) — Scaled Composites has announced Cory Bird as the company’s new president. Stratolaunch, the company founded in 2011 by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, conducted the first test flight of the world’s largest plane. From its inception, Stratolaunch planned to lower the cost of access to space by developing a "Roc" superplane of gigantic proportions -- at 50 feet tall, 238 feet long, and massing 250 tons, it's by some measures the largest aircraft in the world -- and launching rockets from it into space, while airborne. Motors ... Richard Branson—who owns three space companies—reportedly inquired, but he … Stratolaunch, a giant six-engine aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan , makes its historic first flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif., Saturday, April 13, 2019. This also means that it can rapidly redeploy to other locations in the event the testing location changes on short notice. 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