Farm & Fleet, the private spaceflight company that has flown to the International Space Station, has partnered with Virgin Galactic to build a constellation of small, reusable rockets to ferry astronauts and cargo to the orbiting outpost.
The partnership, announced Tuesday, is a milestone for the two companies.
“Farm & Fleet is thrilled to be working with Virgin Spaceflight and are looking forward to delivering a first class flight experience to Virgin Galactic customers in the near future,” John C. Clements, president and CEO of Farm & Force, said in a statement.
The first mission of the constellation, dubbed Frontier, is set to launch in December 2019.
The company has also partnered with NASA to provide launch and landing services.
Virgin Galactic is also planning a fleet of small vehicles that can ferry up to two passengers for $25 million each.
The $250 million deal, which will allow the two spaceflight companies to build their own launch vehicles, is an investment in the spaceflight market that could have a profound effect on the future of American spaceflight.
The two companies are partnering to make their rockets reusable, which could help them compete with NASA’s commercial crew program.
“With a small launch, Virgin Galactic can be a major partner for both companies, enabling them to create an industry leader,” Clements said.
“It will give them a great platform to help accelerate the commercial crew market.”