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Mojave Aerospace Ventures

Mojave Aerospace Ventures

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Mojave Aerospace Ventures (MAV) is a company founded by Paul Allen
Paul Allen
Paul Gardner Allen is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates...

 and Burt Rutan
Burt Rutan
Elbert Leander "Burt" Rutan is an American aerospace engineer noted for his originality in designing light, strong, unusual-looking, energy-efficient aircraft...

 to handle the commercial spinoffs from the Tier One
Tier One
Tier One is Scaled Composites' program of suborbital human spaceflight using the reusable spacecraft SpaceShipOne and its launcher White Knight. The craft was designed by Burt Rutan, and the project is funded 20 million US Dollars by Paul Allen...

 project. It owns the intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 arising from Tier One, and it is in turn owned by Paul Allen (the majority shareholder) and Burt Rutan. In 2004, it signed a deal with Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic is a company within Richard Branson's Virgin Group which plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public, along with suborbital space science missions and orbital launches of small satellites...

 to develop the Virgin SpaceShip, a suborbital
Sub-orbital spaceflight
A sub-orbital space flight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it does not complete one orbital revolution....

 spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

, for space tourism
Space tourism
Space Tourism is space travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. A number of startup companies have sprung up in recent years, hoping to create a space tourism industry...

. Virgin Group
Virgin Group
Virgin Group Limited is a British branded venture capital conglomerate organisation founded by business tycoon Richard Branson. The core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle. Virgin Group's date of incorporation is listed as 1989 by Companies House, who class it as a holding...

 and Scaled
Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites is an aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan and currently owned by Northrop Grumman that is located at the Mojave Spaceport, Mojave, California, United States...

 have subsequently formed a joint venture, The Spaceship Company
The Spaceship Company
The Spaceship Company is a spacecraft manufacturing company formed by Burt Rutan and Richard Branson in mid-2005, jointly owned by Virgin Group and Scaled Composites, which will own the technology created by Scaled for Virgin Galactic's Virgin SpaceShip program...

, to manufacture the spacecraft.

Company


The structure of Mojave Aerospace Ventures appears to be the basis of the deal between Allen and Rutan for the funding of Tier One. The company owns all the intellectual property of the Tier One project, such as patents, and so controls commercial exploitation. Allen, the sole source of funding for Tier One, is the majority owner. Rutan, having developed the technology, owns a minority stake.
This stands in contrast to the company more usually associated with Tier One, Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites is an aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan and currently owned by Northrop Grumman that is located at the Mojave Spaceport, Mojave, California, United States...

, which, as of 2007, is owned by Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

.
MAV serves to separate Tier One spinoffs from Scaled Composites.

Virgin Galactic


On September 25, 2004 MAV agreed on a joint venture with Richard Branson
Richard Branson
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies....

's newly-formed company Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic is a company within Richard Branson's Virgin Group which plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public, along with suborbital space science missions and orbital launches of small satellites...

, to develop a suborbital
Sub-orbital spaceflight
A sub-orbital space flight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it does not complete one orbital revolution....

 spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 for the space tourism market. The initial plan is to build five Virgin SpaceShip
Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic is a company within Richard Branson's Virgin Group which plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public, along with suborbital space science missions and orbital launches of small satellites...

s, based on scaling up the SpaceShipOne design. The spacecraft would be manufactured by The Spaceship Company
The Spaceship Company
The Spaceship Company is a spacecraft manufacturing company formed by Burt Rutan and Richard Branson in mid-2005, jointly owned by Virgin Group and Scaled Composites, which will own the technology created by Scaled for Virgin Galactic's Virgin SpaceShip program...

.

The designs for the Tier 1b
Tier 1b
Tier 1b is Burt Rutan's nickname for the suborbital tourist human spaceflight platform in development at Scaled Composites with Mojave Aerospace Ventures by The Spaceship Company for Virgin Galactic...

 customer suborbital spaceflight vehicles are referred to as SpaceShipTwo and its carrier aircraft is White Knight Two.

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