Tech | November 2, 2017 11:52 am

Richard Branson Just Started a New Space Company

To compete with SpaceX, it has a lot of work to do.

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Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Richard Branson has launched a third space-based company in Vox Space, according to Popular Mechanics.

“Vox Space provides the national security community of the USA and allied nations with responsive, dedicated, and affordable launch services for small satellites bound for Low Earth Orbit,” the new website boasts, billing the new company as a subsidiary of one of Branson’s other space companies, Virgin Orbit. Branson has one other space company — Virgin Galactic — which was started in 2004.

But CNN Tech notes that this new venture makes Branson’s intent more apparent; he’s hoping to one day compete with SpaceX and ULA for meaty government contracts that pay up to $100 million per launch. The new company has a long way to go before it gets off the ground, though — Virgin’s current tech can’t carry more than about 400 pounds, while SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket can carry 50,000.