The world welcomes yet another participant into the space race, and yet another organization in Richard Branson’s portfolio. TechCrunch discovered that Branson’s Virgin Orbit has created VOX Space, an offshoot of its space cargo business that will concentrate on overhauling government contracts from the U.S. and its political partners.
Branson’s other space organizations are Virgin Galactic, which fixates on space tourism, Virgin Orbit for payload flights, and The Spaceship Company, which expects to do what its name proposes.
Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said: “At Virgin Orbit, we want to be responsive to the space launch goals of our government and the need to make more use of commercial services to further expand America’s leadership in space. Between Virgin Orbit and our subsidiary VOX Space, we are well positioned to serve all parts of the market.”
For Virgin Orbit, the making of VOX Space shows how genuinely the organization takes the potential income that could originate from government contracts. According to spokespeople, the military and safeguard industry will probably never be the greater part of Virgin Orbit’s agreements, but it will serve as a backup plan so they have the capacity to contend in that market. At this moment, the book of business includes a contract with a government organization, and will be around 90% business and 10% government.
A spokesperson for Virgin Orbit said the company would not comment officially on any unannounced plans. “There are bureaucratic requirements that exist for this part of the market and not for the commercial market.”
Virgin’s vision has all the earmarks of being greater than just a way to transport space cargo. With the foundation of various organizations geared toward space travel, the organization will compete against bigger aviation organizations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. If Virgin Galactic is the way that Branson imagines getting individuals into space, Virgin Orbit is the way that he imagines payloads will get into space.