UK’s Orbital Access wins ESA two-stage-to-orbit study contract

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Orbital Access Ltd. of Britain, which is designing a small-satellite launcher that would lift off from a horizontal runway under the belly of a modified jet airliner, has won a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to carry the project to system definition before a preliminary design review.

The four-month contract is valued at 200,000 British pounds ($257,000). Orbital Access estimates that carrying the program through to first flight would take about four years and cost some 500 million pounds.

The contract comes . . .

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