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Virgin Orbit

Major loss for Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit failed on its debut British launch mission. Its heavily modified ‘Cosmic Girl’ 747 aircraft took off on time in the evening of January 9th from Spaceport Cornwall, complete with its LauncherOne rocket strapped under its port wing. But the rocket failed to work as designed. The LauncherOne’s second stage suffered a technical “anomaly” […]

January 10, 2023By Chris Forrester

Cornwall’s Spaceport ready for business

Subject to last-minute weather limitations, January 9th should see Virgin Orbit’s converted 747 jet, ‘Cosmic Girl’, take off with its LauncherOne rocket fixed under its port wing. The aircraft will leave Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay with the 70ft rocket and its cargo. That cargo is a batch of nine smallish satellites which it will deploy […]

January 9, 2023

Virgin Orbit gets UK licences for space launch

Virgin Orbit has received the final licences from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to commence launches from Spaceport Cornwall, in Newquay, UK. The CAA said that Sir Richard Branson’s company demonstrated it has “taken all reasonable steps to ensure safety risks arising from launch activities are as low as reasonably practicable”. Virgin Orbit could […]

December 21, 2022By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit scrubs Cornwall launch

The planned Virgin Orbit flight from Spaceport Cornwall on December 14th has been cancelled. Virgin is blaming the UK’s licensing for the flight which are not yet received. Virgin Orbit’s CEO Dan Hart, speaking to the BBC, said: “With licences still outstanding for the launch itself and for the satellites within the payload, additional technical […]

December 9, 2022By Chris Forrester

Luxembourg backs Virgin Orbit

Luxembourg is a satellite-friendly nation. The country is already the home of SES and the formal domicile of Intelsat. Luxembourg has now signed a Letter of Intent with Virgin Orbit to help bring Virgin’s air-launch business to the country. Luxembourg’s deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, François Bausch and Virgin Orbit signed a Letter […]

October 20, 2022

UK satellite launch benefits welcomed

Following our report on the progress of first satellite launch from UK soil, UK government ministers and industry executives have welcomed the upcoming Virgin Orbit mission and its benefits. Virgin Orbit’s carrier aircraft, ground support equipment, and rocket set to arrive in Cornwall this week. Made possible by funding from the UK Space Agency, the […]

October 11, 2022By Colin Mann

Virgin Orbit readies for Cornwall launch

On October 2nd, Virgin Orbit carried out a full ‘wet’ dress rehearsal at its HQ for its upcoming launch of satellites from Spaceport Cornwall. Virgin Orbit says it is ready and standing by for a launch but first needs a formal licence from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The ‘Straight Up’ test involved Virgin’s ‘Cosmic […]

October 10, 2022

Spaceport Cornwall updates status

Later this year, probably in October, a modified Virgin Orbit aircraft will take off from an updated Cornwall Airport, near Newquay and now named Spaceport Cornwall. The aircraft is expected to carry around 8 smallish satellites into space. The activity will be the first-ever satellite mission handled by a ‘horizontal launcher’ from the UK, according […]

August 16, 2022

Virgin Orbit secures Korea contract

Sir Richard Branson-backed Virgin Orbit business has won a partnership contract from South Korean investment group, J-Space, to develop a launch site plan, paving the path for expanded space markets and new investor opportunities in South Korea and the surrounding region. The agreement allows the companies to assess candidate spaceport launch sites in South Korea, […]

August 11, 2022By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit readies ‘straight up’ launch mission

Virgin Orbit has been rehearsing its launch plans and on June 29th there is a window open to place its client’s satellite into orbit under Virgin’s ‘straight up’ plan. The launch calls for Virgin Orbit to place the US Space Force’s STP-S28A mission and carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DOD) Space Test Programme […]

June 27, 2022By Chris Forrester