Today the Virgin Galactic space company revealed that they are spinning off its LauncherOne rocket program into a separate firm called Virgin Orbit.

They say that this move will allow them to better position themselves and serve the small satellite industry.

Currently, LauncherOne is based in Long Beach, California. As part of the move, they intend to launch small satellites into orbit, with low-cost, quick-turnaround launch services.

Virgin has targeted a price of below $10 million per flight, and the LauncherOne is capable of carrying up to 440 lbs into a sun-synchronous orbit, or more than 880 lbs into low-Earth orbit.

Virgin Orbit will then aim to manufacture a couple of dozen or more launch vehicles per year to provide this quick turnaround that they are aiming for.

Of course, there is a lot of competition already existing, with SpaceX and other private companies already providing many of the satellite launches that we talk about.

Virgin Orbit aims to complete the debut flight of the LauncherOne before the end of 2017.

After the move, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, George Whitesides will hold the same role at Virgin Orbit, with day-to-day operations being taken over by Dan Hart.

We will be sure to let you know more as we hear more about Virgin Orbit and Virgin Galactic.

This article may include links to affilates, and if you click on one of these affilate links, we may recieve commission.