MOJAVE, Calif., 8 Oct. 2012. Virgin Galactic, on track to become the world’s first commercial spaceline, has assumed full ownership of The Spaceship Company (TSC), its sister company. Virgin Galactic acquired the 30 percent stake held by Scaled Composites (Scaled) since TSC’s formation under a joint venture with Virgin Galactic.
This acquisition marks the completion of a long-term strategy and signifies the end of the first phase of TSC’s development. TSC completed the build out of manufacturing and assembly facilities in Mojave, Calif.; established a specialized workforce; and transitioned necessary assets from Scaled to begin building Virgin Galactic’s commercial fleet of WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo (SS2) manned sub-orbital spacecraft—both of which will be used for Virgin Galactic’s spaceline operations based at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Scaled will transfer the SS2 development program to Virgin Galactic, with Scaled remaining committed to the final portion of the WK2 and SS2 test flight programs prior to Virgin Galactic commencing commercial operations.
Scaled Composites engineers developed Virgin Galactic’s spaceship (SpaceShipTwo,VSS Enterprise) and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve). The Spaceship Company, a new aerospace production company founded by Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, is building the fleet of vehicles for Virgin Galactic.
Scaled, founded by Burt Rutan, developed SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 claimed the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the world’s first privately developed manned spacecraft.