Virgin Orbit announced May 20 it will make the first flight of its LauncherOne air-launched vehicle as soon as May 24, but is setting modest expectations about the probability of success.
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.
The contract is for three dedicated launches to deliver 44 small satellites to low Earth orbit.
Virgin Orbit announced April 2 it has identified an airport in Japan as a potential site for launch operations, joining airports in the United States and Great Britain as hosts for the air-launch company.
If the design is approved, Virgin Orbit said it can start producing ventilators in April.
Virgin Orbit’s space launch business deemed ‘essential service,’ work allowed to continue at Long Beach
Virgin Orbit spokesman: “Unavoidably, this will have some impact on our launch date, and on the launches that immediately follow."
Virgin Orbit spokesman: "We are assessing things daily and keeping momentum up as best we can."
Susan Mashiko is a retired Air Force major general and former deputy director of the NRO.
The U.K. Space Agency will provide $9.5 million for infrastructure at a British airport that seeks to host Virgin Orbit’s air-launch system.
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.