Image source: Virgin Orbit
“The Launcher One’s first flight since installation would transform Alcântara into the second orbital-class spaceport in all of South America, and only the fifth in the entire southern hemisphere,” notes Virgin Orbit.
“The people of Brazil have been working patiently and diligently on the orbital launch for many years now, and it will be a tremendous honor to help make this vision a national reality,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “There really is no better place on the planet than Alcântara for an equatorial launch site. And with hundreds of miles of transverse range on our flying launch pad, the potential is limitless. We look forward to working with our colleagues at AEB and FAB to bring this new vital capacity to Alcântara. ”
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com (part of our continuing series “The Future of Long Beach in Space”), QinetiQ (a defense and security company) and HyperSat (a geospatial analysis company) have chose Virgin Orbit to launch a series of six hyperspectral satellites into low earth orbit. “in part because of the unmatched agility, mobility and responsiveness offered by the aerial launch, which allows for shorter call times and more flexible scheduling for customers, as well as direct injection on precise target orbits. ”
Long Beach is also home to Rocket Lab, located at 3881 McGowen St. which launches self-made rockets from a facility in New Zealand to deliver small satellites to low earth orbits, and Relativity, HQ at 3500 E Burnett, is now developing a printed rocket. Space X recently agreed to use part of Long Beach Port’s T Jetty as a marine terminal to dock ships and unload equipment for rocket recovery operations on the West Coast.
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