Jan. 9, 2023, 10:16 p.m. - Jan. 10, 2023, 12:16 a.m.
7 payloads for government and private customers. This mission is the first launch from the United Kingdom.
LauncherOne is a two stage orbital launch vehicle developed 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
Nearly a year after the failed Virgin Orbit launch from England, United Kingdom government officials remain optimistic about the prospects for building up a launch industry in the country.
The U.K. is funding nearly half the cost of replacing the government-backed cubesat that British maritime surveillance venture Horizon Technologies lost in January in Virgin Orbit’s final launch attempt before bankruptcy.
Spaceport Cornwall, which provided the runway for Virgin Orbit’s failed launch from the U.K. in January, opened a new operations facility April 27 to attract more businesses in the wake of its flagship customer’s bankruptcy.
Virgin Orbit says it is moving ahead with plans to return its LauncherOne rocket to flight later this year even though there is no certainty the company will emerge from bankruptcy.
irgin Orbit provided additional details about the likely cause of its LauncherOne failure last month but didn’t estimate when the vehicle will be ready to return to flight.