Farnborough 2012: Richard Branson introduces the Launcher 1. "It will go around the world at 80,000 mph in 80 minutes"

The next step of the Galactic journey is here.

During the third day of Farnborough International Airshow 2012, Richard Branson introduced a new vehicle that “will change the whose satellite industry and space-based science research.”

The new satellite launch vehicle is dubbed LauncherOne. “Even before this official launch we have the largest order book of any new launch vehicle ever,” says Branson on the company website.

“The cost of putting a satellite into space before Virgin Galactic was around $30-40 million. We’ll be able to do it for under $10 million, opening up space to thousands of new groups, universities and research programs.”

Along with the cost savings that the LauncherOne will make possible, what is really amazing is that the vehicle will go around the world at 80,000mph in 80 minutes.

“It’s actually 90 minutes, but I thought around the world in 80 minutes sounded better!”

Let’s see if what’s currently just a model will work as advertised, someone at the Pentagon could be interested….

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Um, given Earth is only 25,000 miles in circumference…at 80,000 mph, shouldn’t going around the world take a lot less than 80 minutes?

  2. The Earth’s circumference is 25,000 miles or so. At 80,000 mph, seems like it’d take an awful lot less than 80 minutes to go around the planet…

  3. Hmmm… escape velocity is only around 25,000 mph, so perhaps there’s some sales hyperbole in action here.

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