Virgin Galactic Taps Boeing to Build Next Air Launch Vehicles

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. is contracting with Boeing Co.’s Aurora Flight Sciences to design and build two motherships, twin-hulled flying machines that carry its passenger spaceships to about 50,000 feet and release them to travel into space.

Aurora will immediately begin development of the next generation of air-launch carriers for Virgin Galactic, according to a statement late Wednesday. The first of the vehicles is expected to enter service in 2025, the same year Virgin Galactic plans to begin revenue flights of its new, more durable Delta-class spaceship.