Vulcan Inc. has been creating the Stratolaunch for many years, with many delays which have been noticeable within the sector. Today, 20th June 2016, a progress update was posted about the current construction progress of the first Stratolaunch.
The Executive Director and President of Vulcan Aerospace, Chuck Beames, described the craft as, “jaw-dropping when you walk into that hangar”. The hangar is located at the Mojave Air and Space Port, and the plane is currently being constructed within the 103,000 square foot hanger. However construction is behind schedule, due to design changes and the added stress of losing the rocket providers which were initially being considered for the Stratolaunch. It is understood that the initial provider was SpaceX, using a Falcon 5, later to be changed for a reengineered Falcon 9. It was later made public that SpaceX withdrew from the deal and Stratolaunch had no launcher for its business. Following the withdrawal of SpaceX, Orbital Sciences (now known as Orbital ATK) approached and agreed with Vulcan Inc. to modify their Antares launcher to fly with Stratolaunch. It was to be described as a larger version of the Pegasus launcher which is still in action today. However to this date, Orbital Sciences withdrew also from venturing their orbital rocket with Stratolauch and Vulcan Inc.
It is currently understood publicly that no rocket has been adopted/designed to the Stratolaunch. This has yet to be addressed. However Beames has argued otherwise, “We have a business plan, a strategy that Paul has approved.” It is believed that as early as next year the big Stratolaunch could be on test flights around Mojave, with becoming part of the American launcher fleet by the end of the decade, posing that no further financial or further withdrawals from the business occurs.