The Scaled Composites SpaceShipThree (SS3) is a concept orbital spaceplane proposed in 2005 by Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, ostensibly to follow SpaceShipTwo.


The purpose originally proposed for SpaceShipThree in 2005 was for commercial orbital spaceflight, as part of a program called "Tier 2" by Scaled Composites.[1][2]

By 2008, Scaled Composites had reduced those plans and articulated a conceptual design that would be a point-to-point vehicle traveling outside the atmosphere.[3] By 2008, the SpaceShipThree concept was to be used for transportation through point-to-point suborbital spaceflight with the spacecraft providing, for example, a two-hour trip on the Kangaroo Route (from London to Sydney or Melbourne).[3]

Scaled was sold to Northrop Grumman in 2007, and references to further work on a conceptual Scaled SS3 ended at some point afterwards from Scaled.

By 2016, Richard Branson was still planning to have a point-to-point sub-orbital spaceliner follow-up to SpaceShipTwo.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "SpaceShipThree poised to follow if SS2 succeeds". Flight International. FlightGlobal. 23 August 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  2. ^ Leonard David (11 August 2006). "Burt Rutan on Civilian Spaceflight, Breakthroughs, and Inside SpaceShipTwo".
  3. ^ a b SpaceShipThree revealed?, FlightGlobal Hyperbola, Rob Coppinger, 29 Feb 2008
  4. ^ Irene Klotz (19 February 2016). "Branson's Virgin Galactic moves to return to space race". Reuters.

External links

  • Space tourism companies aiming for orbit (New Scientist Space, 8/24/2005)