LAS VEGAS — For years, the price of space travel was so high that even when SpaceX and Virgin Galactic began their launches in 2011, the cost of the trip was still too expensive to justify.
So in 2012, SpaceX and the Virgin Galactic Corp. agreed to work together on a landing site for a spaceplane called the Virgin Orbiter.
SpaceX and Boeing had both been exploring using land to make money.
But at that time, the costs of making that happen were too high to justify a spaceflight.
So the two companies decided to start from scratch.
SpaceX had been thinking of a small spacecraft that could be assembled and flown on land and Virgin had been considering a bigger craft that could carry people.
The two companies also agreed to explore other technologies for a possible future mission, including a satellite-launch system.
The agreement was announced on Oct. 1, 2012, by the companies and was designed to give Virgin a leg up over its competitors.
But when the Virgin Group’s chief financial officer, Rob Bales, showed up at the company’s headquarters in California, the company quickly decided that the partnership was not going to work.
It was a difficult decision for Bales to make.
For one thing, the Virgin mission was on schedule.
The company was supposed to start flying astronauts in 2019, and that was expected to take place in 2021.
The problem, Bales said, was that there was no plan for the landing site.
So, when the agreement came out, he had no idea what it meant.
Bales did not say exactly how he came to that conclusion.
He said he was surprised that the partners did not see it coming.
In any case, Balsons decision came as no surprise to Bales.
He had been trying to get Virgin to land on the company and other commercial launches for years.
“I said, ‘You know, we’re really disappointed that we can’t land on your spacecraft, but we’re still looking for other ways to get you to a landing zone,’ ” Bales recalled.
The companies were going through their business plans, and the companies were getting very, very close to landing on one another’s spacecraft.
“That’s the problem,” Bales explained.
“It’s very hard to make a deal that looks like it’s going to be a good one, but it doesn’t.”
Balson had always been an advocate of private companies taking on missions, especially ones that were less expensive than what the government was paying.
He knew how much it would cost to launch and land a spacecraft on a small satellite, and he knew that the cost to the taxpayers was not worth it.
He also knew that he was not alone.
“A lot of companies have looked at Virgin as a way to get their costs down,” Balssons company said in a statement at the time.
“In fact, the companies have already flown their first spaceplane and are already planning to do so again.
We will be investing in our launch systems and SpaceX and their launch services to help them continue to do this.”
In recent years, Bilsons company has become a leader in the commercial spaceflight market.
Its satellites carry satellites for Boeing and others.
In 2015, it announced that it had landed its first commercial payload on a satellite in Kazakhstan, and Balsmans company is one of several commercial companies to try to use small satellites to deliver cargo and people to space.
It has also developed a technology to help small satellites launch.
But the deal with Virgin is different.
“What was going to happen is, the government is going to take over the company, and they’re going to own the company,” Binsons company spokesman Mark Zaid said.
“This will be a private company, which means it’s owned by its investors, not by the government.”
The deal was announced by the U.S. Commerce Department on Oct 25, 2012.
Bals’ company had already started its commercial space flight effort, and Virgin made the deal to get its spaceplane to the moon.
Binson said he had not been briefed on the details of the deal, and did not know whether he was involved in the development of the project.
But he said the Virgin deal, if approved by the Department of Commerce, would make him one of the first private companies to fly a small, reusable satellite to the International Space Station.
The commercial launch market is expected to grow to $7.5 billion in 2020, up from $4.6 billion this year, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The space industry is booming.
The launch market, which has been in a slow, steady decline for decades, is expected grow to about $5.3 billion in 2019 from $3.5 million in 2018, according the Post’s report.
Bains and his team are also building a