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Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit wins Japan launch contract

Virgin Orbit, which is focused on taking small-to-medium sized satellites into low Earth orbit, has won a contract from Japan’s Q-Shu Pioneers of Space for its iQPS craft. The satellite is a scientific Earth observation mission and is expected to launch “early” in 2023. Selected for Virgin’s LauncherOne rocket-plane combination and its ability to provide […]

May 10, 2022By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit reveals 2022-23 plans

Sir Richard Branson-backed space plane and small satellite launcher Virgin Orbit has reported a downbeat revenue picture for 2021 with just two launches last year (and only one to date in 2022). This translated into a net loss of $157.3 million (€141.5m) for 2021 on $ 7.4 million in revenue. Back in August last year […]

March 31, 2022

Virgin Orbit confirms Cornwall launch

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit rocket plane project has signed a contract with European in-space manufacturing tech start-up Space Forge to launch a Welsh-built small satellite from Cornwall. The satellite will be launched as part of a broader joint UK-US mission to open the country’s first domestic space port in summer 2022 out of Spaceport […]

March 11, 2022By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit schedules launch from Cornwall

An Omani scientific satellite will be carried and launched from Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket when it makes its first launch from Cornwall in the UK later this year. The Omani payload, developed by Earth observation specialist Poland-based SatRevolution, will be put into low Earth orbit to collect climate data. The mission is the follow-on to […]

January 28, 2022By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit invests in Hypersat, SatRevolution

Sir Richard Branson-backed Virgin Orbit has taken a 17.5 per cent stake in Earth Observation image company Hypersat, as well as investing in a funding round for Poland-based SatRevolution. Hypersat is already a client of Virgin Orbit and used Virgin’s rocket plane to launch 6 of its Hyperspectral satellites. Poland’s SatRevolution is busy raising cash […]

December 17, 2021By Chris Forrester

ANA books 20 Virgin Orbit flights

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has reserved 20 Virgin Orbit flights aboard the company’s LauncherOne rocket-plane. An earlier MoU established the relationship between the two. The updated MoU, signed on November 4th, and initialled by Virgin Orbit’s CEO Dan Hart and ANA’s EVP Koji Shibata, has one special condition: the flights must happen from Japan […]

November 9, 2021

Virgin Orbit signs MoU with Southwest Research

Virgin Orbit (and not Virgin Galactic, which has problems with the US FAA over flight safety) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding and collaboration with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The agreement sees Virgin Orbit and SwRI exploring multiple specialized mission opportunities using the company’s LauncherOne rocket system and “coupled with SwRI’s deep expertise in space […]

September 7, 2021By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit wants its own satellite constellation

Following the announcement of its merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) in the form of NextGen Acquisition Corp, Virgin Orbit now says it wants its own in-orbit satellite system. Backed by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit wants to transition from launching small satellites to building its own satellite constellation for Internet-of-Things (IoT) and […]

August 25, 2021

Virgin Orbit uses SPAC to enter NASDAQ

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit satellite launch system (and not to be confused with his Virgin Galactic passenger tourism venture) is set to go public with a NASDAQ quote. The company says its revenues will grow 100-fold by 2025 to $1.55 billion. Virgin Orbit has merged with one of the increasingly fashionable Special Purpose Acquisitions […]

August 24, 2021

Virgin Orbit to start satellite launches in 2022

Following on from the success of launching himself and three passengers into space last week, Sir Richard Branson’s sister business Virgin Orbit will start launching and deploying a greater number of satellites in 2022. Virgin Orbit’s VP/Flight & Launch Activities, Tyler Grinnell, newly appointed to the position after a dozen years at SpaceX, told Fox […]

July 20, 2021By Chris Forrester