Branson to launch Virgin Galactic rockets into space from jumbo jet

Boeing 747 named Cosmic Girl to be used as launchpad for space travel

The Boeing 747 first came into existence in the 1960s, before becoming the world’s largest commercial airliner in 1970.

The design may be a bit old now, but jumbo jets are still going strong, and Richard Branson is teaming up the classic aircraft with his hyper-modern Virgin Galactic space-travel project.

The plan? To take off into space in a rocket launched from the bottom of the aeroplane.

Sir Richard’s Virgin Galactic firm bought the aircraft from Sir Richard’s Virgin Atlantic firm.

The revamped plane has been named Cosmic Girl.

Here’s a video showing how it plans to release the satellite rocket:

Cosmic Girl will enable the company to send satellites into orbit from anywhere in the world.

Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said: “Air launch enables us to provide rapid, responsive service to our satellite customers on a schedule set by their business and operational needs, rather than the constraints of national launch ranges.

“Selecting the 747 airframe provides a dedicated platform that gives us the capacity to substantially increase our payload to orbit without increasing our prices.”

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