Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Rocket
Virgin Orbit, a California-based satellite launch company, announced that its LauncherOne rocket has successfully reached space during its second launch demonstration today. This also confirms that it has successfully deployed 10 payloads for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). Unlike other launch systems, Virgin Orbit uses a technique called air launch, in which a rocket is launched from under the wing of a jet aircraft, rather than from a traditional launch pad on the ground. Read more for two videos and additional information.



The rocket was transported on a carrier aircraft, Virgin Orbit’s customized 747-400 called Cosmic Girl, which took off from Mojave Air and Space Port at approximately 10:50 A.M. and flew out to a launch site over the Pacific Ocean, about 50 miles south of the Channel Islands. Once released, the two-stage rocket ignited and powered itself to orbit. At the flight’s end, LauncherOne rocket deployed 10 CubeSats into the team’s precise target orbit, marking the start of affordable and responsive access to space.

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A new gateway to space has just sprung open! That LauncherOne was able to successfully reach orbit today is a testament to this team’s talent, precision, drive, and ingenuity. Even in the face of a global pandemic, we’ve maintained a laser focus on fully demonstrating every element of this revolutionary launch system. That effort paid off today with a beautifully executed mission, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart.