Brewing in Mojave?
I've made it quite public over the years that I am a huge fan of everything Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites does. Rutan is – in my humble opinion – the most prolific aerospace engineer on this planet today, and every ship he and his team build can do amazing things.
Despite the tragic setback they suffered recently when three crew members perished in a flight line engine test explosion, Scaled remains on the very forward edge of the oncoming commercial space travel envelope. We know they are building ships for Virgin Galactic – that is quite public – but the following news tells me that they might be capable of producing much larger things:
Northrop Grumman Corporation announced today that it has completed a transaction that increases its ownership in Scaled Composites, LLC from approximately 40 percent to
(1) They're jumping on a 100% share of Scaled because they desire a BIG piece of the commercial space travel pie. If you want in that game – and want to fly the very best private spacecraft – you want Burt Rutan on your team.
(2) Northrop Grumman is acquiring Scaled because they know Rutan can deliver a yet undisclosed new craft or system, one that can complete just about any civil or military mission. Rutan has the aviation creativity to build just about anything the Northrop management can dream up...anything.
If you're not quite sure exactly what Northrop Grumman does these days, here's a sampling of products found under their "Space Technology" banner:
Bipropellant Engines & ThrustersGo ahead, pick any one of those, and let Rutan go wild with the design. When you mate our best aerospace engineer with one of our most important aerospace companies, the possibilities are indeed endless.
Booster Vehicle Engines
Chandra X-ray Observatory
Earth Observation/Remote Sensing
Gel and Tactical Propulsion
James Webb Space Telescope
Laser Diode Arrays
Space Tracking and Surveillance System