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The Scaled Composites SpaceShipThree (SS3) was a mid-2000s proposed spaceplane to be developed by Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, ostensibly to follow SpaceShipTwo.


The mission originally proposed for SpaceShipThree in 2005 was for 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] As of 2008, the SpaceShipThree concept spacecraft was conceived 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.

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

See also[edit]


  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[edit]