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What propellants does Virgin Galactic LauncherOne use?

asked 2016-05-07 23:12:35 -0600

Pascal Le Dramont gravatar image

updated 2016-05-07 23:15:03 -0600

Rob Mueller gravatar image

What propellants does Virgin Galactic LauncherOne use? What is the payload capability?

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answered 2016-05-07 23:15:09 -0600

Rob Mueller gravatar image

The recent upgrade of the LauncherOne allows it to carry more than 400 kilograms (881 pounds) into a generic low orbit of the Earth, and 200 kilograms (440 pounds) into the sun-synchronous orbit, which is the location of most remote sensing satellites.

The NewtonThree is a pump-fed engine that utilizes a combination of kerosene and liquid oxygen as propellants. It is designed to create a force of up to 73,500 pounds in order to lift the LauncherOne spacecraft during its first stage. Virgin said that test has provided them with highly valuable data regarding the NewtonThree engine during its launch, operation and safe shutdown. The space company also tested the gas generator for the NewtonFour, a smaller engine than the NewtonThree that will be used for the upper stage of the LauncherOne. This gas generator is capable of burning only a small amount of the propellant to power the pumps of the spacecraft's engine. It fired for over six minutes in each of the NewtonFour engine's full-duration tests.

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Asked: 2016-05-07 23:12:35 -0600

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Last updated: May 07 '16