Report: Northrop Grumman buys Scaled Composites

Space News is reporting this afternoon that Northrop Grumman has increased its stake in Scaled Composites from 40 to 100 percent [subscription required]. A formal announcement about the deal hasn’t been made by either company, nor terms of the sale announced. Alex Tai of Virgin Galactic, who is in Washington today to attend the NewSpace 2007 conference, declined to comment about the sale in the article. This is obviously a very interesting deal, but it seems too soon right now to speculate what this means for Scaled and its suborbital spacecraft development plans.

1 comment to Report: Northrop Grumman buys Scaled Composites

  • Thomas Matula

    Interesting. But my guess is this has far more to do with Northrop-Grumman UAV ventures then space tourism.

    Its important to remember that athough space advocates only see Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites in terms of SpaceshipOne and SpaceshipTwo, those projects are only one product line of Scaled Composites.

    The USAF has been interested in a military version of the Proteus called Model 395 that Scaled Composites has been working on with Northrop-Grumman for a while. This merger would serve to strengthen Northrop-Grumman’s bid in the USAF Hunter-Killer competition as well as future competitions for advanced UAVs.

    All in all I would say its a good move for both firms. As for SpaceshipTwo, the impact is basically netural as the real driving force for that is Richard Branson and VG. As long as VG keeps the money flowing SpaceshipTwo will move forward.

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