May 25, 2020, 5 p.m. - May 25, 2020, 9 p.m.
Payload-free test flight of the LauncherOne vehicle.
The first flight of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne failed to reach orbit in May when a propellant line broke seconds after ignition of its first stage engine.
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LauncherOne is a two stage orbital launch vehicle under development by Virgin Orbit since 2007. It is an air launch to orbit rocket, designed to launch "smallsat" payloads of 300 kilograms (660 lb) into a Sun-synchronous orbit, following air launch from a carrier aircraft at high altitude.
Virgin Orbit is a company within the Virgin Group which plans to provide launch services for small satellites. The company was formed in 2017 to develop the air-launched LauncherOne rocket, launched from Cosmic Girl, which had previously been a project of Virgin Galactic. Based in Long Beach, California, Virgin Orbit has more than 300 employees led by president Dan Hart, a former vice president of government satellite systems at Boeing. Virgin Orbit focuses on small satellite launch, which is one of three capabilities being focused on by Virgin Galactic. These capabilities are: human spaceflight operations, small satellite launch, and advanced aerospace design, manufacturing, and testINFO WIKI