Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket reached orbit on its second flight Jan. 17, demonstrating the performance of the air-launch system.
Virgin Orbit has rescheduled its second orbital launch attempt for Jan. 10 as another small launch vehicle company, Rocket Lab, announces plans for its first launch of 2021.
Virgin Orbit is preparing to perform a second flight of its LauncherOne small launch vehicle in the second half of December, carrying a set of NASA-sponsored cubesats.
The first flight of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket failed to reach orbit in May when a propellant line broke seconds after the ignition of the rocket’s first stage engine, the company’s chief executive said July 22.
VOX says launching from Guam allows LauncherOne to serve all orbital inclinations.
Virgin Orbit completed a captive carry test flight of its LauncherOne system April 12, the final major milestone before the company performs its first orbital launch attempt.
Susan Mashiko is a retired Air Force major general and former deputy director of the NRO.
Virgin Orbit, while preparing for the first flight of its LauncherOne smallsat rocket, is in the process of choosing an engine for a three-stage variant that would be capable of sending payloads to other planets.
Megaconstellation startup OneWeb asked a court to dismiss a June lawsuit by Virgin Orbit, claiming that it doesn’t accurately portray a 2015 launch contract.
Virgin Orbit performed a key test of its LauncherOne air launch system July 10, dropping an inert vehicle from its carrier aircraft in one of the last milestones before the vehicle’s first orbital launch attempt.
The carrier aircraft for Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system has performed a series of test flights in preparation for upcoming flights with the rocket attached.
Virgin Orbit has received a license from the Federal Aviation Administration for the first launch of its LauncherOne vehicle, which the company hopes to perform later this summer.