Vulcan Aerospace is a division of Vulcan Inc., committed to developing ground-breaking technology while remaining disciplined and cognizant of lessons from the past.  Much like the evolution of the integrated circuit chip evolved from a mainframe into a mobile device - altering the course of human history - Vulcan Aerospace believes offering convenient, affordable access to space will have a similar effect on the global economy.

Vulcan Aerospace envisions low Earth orbit (LEO) as an ever-expanding economic domain where a variety of companies, technologies and interests can provide data and services that continually improve life on Earth.  

We call this vision NextSpace

In support of this vision, Vulcan Aerospace is focused on becoming a space access provider through the development of the Stratolaunch air-launch platform. Frequent air launch will increase the availability and convenience of access to space, which is a critical step toward establishing broad commercial opportunities in LEO. 


The Stratolaunch air-launch platform is designed to transport satellite payloads to orbit.  In 2011, Paul G. Allen initiated the development of this new system to challenge the current model of orbital launch and to offer more flexible and cost effective access to space. Stratolaunch is an innovative approach to providing convenient and affordable space access for a wide range of missions and payloads.

The Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft is constructed using state-of-the-art composite materials in order to be light, strong, and fuel efficient. Once complete, Stratolaunch will have the largest wing span of any airplane ever built and will be the world's largest composite aircraft.

Stratolaunch’s mobile launch range offers many potential benefits over fixed ground launch, including: improved responsiveness, flexibility to avoid inclement weather, enhanced ability to avoid overflight of populated areas, and streamlined infrastructure to support efficient launch operations.

Scaled Composites is leading the construction of Stratolaunch at Mojave Air & Space Port.
Dual Fuselages

The right fuselage houses the flight crew and the left fuselage contains flight data systems.
Center Wing

The reinforced center wing provides lift, stability, and an attachment point for payloads over 500,000 lbs.

The Carrier Aircraft’s six 747 engines provide a reliable and reusable platform capable of frequent flights and aircraft-like operations.

The Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft has the largest wingspan of any plane ever assembled; its 385-foot wingspan is larger than an American football field.
The ecosystem enabled by NextSpace enlarges the Earth-based economy as a whole by adding value to both the productivity and quality of everyday life through availability of data and services from space. Increased access to LEO is also predicted to spark dramatic advancements by engineers and innovators working to tackle the critical challenges of next-generation robotic and human space exploration.
Vulcan Aerospace is evaluating opportunities for strategic investment in support of global efforts to commercialize LEO.
Paul G. Allen and Vulcan played a key role in forging the new commercial space transportation industry with the investment in SpaceShipOne.  The project is considered one of the greatest breakthroughs in the space industry; winning the Ansari X-Prize in 2004. Today, SpaceShipOne is displayed in the Milestones of Flight in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, next to the Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St Louis and the Bell X-1.  The success of SpaceShipOne was followed by the emergence of entrepreneurial and private space companies that are now considered serious system providers within the industry.
The back-to-back suborbital flights of SpaceShipOne not only demonstrated that spaceflight can be achieved by private entities, but that it can be done differently.
The world continues to witness SpaceShipOne’s impact on commercial spaceflight, and Vulcan Aerospace remains committed to leading the movement into NextSpace.

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Vulcan Aerospace is looking for entrepreneurial-minded engineers and experienced industry experts to join our world-class team.  We are a small, agile group making history through the development of technologies and programs that will change the aerospace industry.  If you are a creative, analytical problem-solver with exceptional communication skills, we want to hear from you.

Apply >>
Vulcan Inc. is a nimble private company based in Seattle, Washington, working to solve some of the biggest global issues. The projects and investments it pursues are inspired by the ideas of our founder Paul G. Allen and tethered to a simple principle; Using data to inform its efforts and seek out opportunities that can make a positive impact—and share what is learned.

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Orbital ATK and Stratolaunch Systems Partner to Offer Competitive Space Launch Opportunities
Stratolaunch Systems and Orbital ATK announced a multi-year production-based partnership that will offer significant cost advantages to air-launch customers. 
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Accelerating Access to LEO Through Air-Launch
At the NewSpace 2016 conference in Seattle, Chuck Beames, president of Vulcan Aerospace Corp. and executive director of Stratolaunch, delivered the keynote on the NextSpace vision for LEO. 
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Tackling the Space Challenge
Paul Allen outlines the revolutionary potential that expanding access to LEO holds, comparing it to the impact of the PC revolution and the growth of smartphones. 
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A Year of NextSpace
It’s been one year since I announced our NextSpace concept at the 31st Space Symposium - our vision of growing LEO into a successful commercial economic domain where access and utilization of space is available to all - and over the last year the space industry has enjoyed some remarkable advancements.
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Vulcan Aerospace Launch News Roundup
Here is a collection of articles about the launch of Vulcan Aerospace on April 13, 2015, at the 31st Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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NextSpace: An Investor's Perspective
In 2015, the commercial aerospace industry enjoyed a record-setting $2.3 billion in investments from more than 50 venture capital firms, numerous Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading visionaries like our Vulcan Aerospace founder, Paul G. Allen.
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Vulcan Aerospace hires Steve Nixon as Vice President of National Security and Government Activities
Vulcan Aerospace announced that Steve Nixon has joined the company as Vice President of National Security and Government Activities. Nixon will lead the company's national security business sector from Washington D.C., and its U.S. government relations.
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NextSpace: Creating a New Economic Domain in Space
I was honored to speak about the evolution of Vulcan Aerospace during the first day of the 66th International Astronautical Congress in Jerusalem this week. This year’s conference focuses on using space to better humanity, bringing together people from all over the world to think differently about space and how we develop innovative space assets. 
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From Pluto to D.C. to Silicon Valley: A Busy Week For Vulcan Aerospace
Planes, spaceships and automobiles—that’s been the past week for Vulcan Aerospace.
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Vulcan Aerospace takes the Next Step in Space

“What’s next?”

Paul Allen asks me this question frequently, pushing me – and the entire Vulcan Inc. team – to think creatively and push the boundaries of possibility. Not just to improve what exists, but to think about what should exist. Today, we’re announcing an innovative new approach to the commercial space industry—Vulcan Aerospace.
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