The mission includes three cubesats for US Department of Defense which are launched as a part of the DoS Space Test Program (STP); the Netherland's first military satellite, a cubesat called BRIK II; and two optical satellites, STORK-4 and STORK-5, for SatRevolution's STORK constellation. The mission name, "Tubular Bells, Part One", references the first music album released by Virgin Records label in the 1970s. The label was established by Virgin Orbit CEO Richard Branson.
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