The next two to three years will be a time of adjustment in the space launch industry, according to panelists at Satellite Innovation 2018 here.
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 CEO Dan Hart: If the military wanted to transport cargo across the globe, the technology is available to do that, but a lot of planning and engineering would be required.
Virgin Orbit says an agreement that could lead to LauncherOne missions from an English airport is part of an effort to both better meet the needs of its customers as well as support the U.K. space industry.
Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit announced a set of agreements July 6 with Italian companies and the Italian Space Agency that could lead to suborbital and orbital launches from a proposed Italian spaceport.
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.
Virgin Orbit is planning a key test of its LauncherOne vehicle as soon as next week, a final step before the vehicle’s first launch later this summer.
Virgin Orbit’s campaign to design, build and fly LauncherOne, its air-launched rocket for small satellites, relies heavily on manufacturing software.
Virgin Orbit plans to offer customers a variety of services including responsive launch, maintenance of large satellite constellations and potentially debris removal.
Companies that are developing small launch vehicles or who provide rideshare launch services say they expect new Chinese launch vehicles to drive down launch prices, raising concerns among some of unfair competition.
Virgin Orbit, which expects to debut the air-launched LauncherOne rocket by summer, signed a contract Jan. 16 with GomSpace to send eight nanosatellites into orbit next year to track airplanes and ships.
Virgin Orbit announced Nov. 16 that it has received its first launch contract for a LauncherOne mission from a Defense Department agency.