Virgin Galactic to transform satellite comms

Space tourism venture will also reduce cost of launching satellites

Tags: Virgin Galactic
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Virgin Galactic to transform satellite comms Branson: We are going to be able to put up 3,500 satellites a month and that will make a big difference in the telecommunications industry.
By  Roger Field Published  May 19, 2013

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company that is due to start commercial flights next year, will also help to transform the satellite communications sector, according to Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group.

"I think Virgin Galactic is going to transform a lot of industries. We are going to be able to put up 3,500 satellites a month and that will make a big difference in the telecommunications industry," Branson told CommsMEA.

"So telecommunications, Internet, WiFi access will reach everybody in the world, as a result, at an affordable price."

During a visit to the UAE earlier this week, Branson also told reporters that by expanding satellite communications, telecom and Internet services could be provided to "a couple of billion people out there who don't have telecoms".

"The [cost] could come down quite considerably. If we could put 15,000 satellites out there it would increase the size of the Internet three-fold, so it could have a dramatic effect," he said.

Virgin Galactic announced details of its plans for launching satellites during the Farnborough International Air Show last year. At the event, the company announced its "LauncherOne" craft, a new air-launched rocket specifically designed to deliver small satellites into orbit.

Commercial flights of the orbital launch vehicle were expected to begin by 2016, and Virgin Galactic said that it aimed to offer "frequent and dedicated launches at the world's lowest prices".

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