Virgin Orbit satellites rise into orbit

pristine orbit successfully deployed all seven customer satellites aboard its LauncherOne rocket into orbit on its final mission.

The Above The Clouds mission was Virgin Orbit’s third successful flight, occurring less than a year after its first mission, and continuing the company’s success in delivering satellites for government and commercial customers.

Cosmic Girl, the responsive launch and space solutions company’s 747 carrier aircraft, lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port and flew to a launch site over the Pacific Ocean approximately 50 miles south of the Channel Islands. After a soft launch from the aircraft, the LauncherOne rocket ignited and rocketed into space, eventually deploying its payload to a precise target orbit approximately 500 km above the Earth’s surface. at 45 degrees of inclination. It was the first time anyone had reached this orbit from the west coast.

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Virgin Orbit has now successfully delivered commercial, government, international and national security satellites into space, including Above the Clouds’ newest customer Spire Global, Inc. and first-ever regular customers: the Space Test Program of the US Department of Defense and the Polish company SatRevolution.

Satellites launched on the company’s latest mission include space communications, space debris detection, space navigation and propulsion experiments, as well as satellites that will serve the global agricultural sector. The launch brings the total number of satellites launched by Virgin Orbit to 26.

“Our customers are starting to hear from their satellites connecting from orbit – and for us, that’s what success looks like. It’s a pleasure for our team that this mission includes our first regular customers as well as our first “last minute” customers and reach an orbit that no one has ever reached from the West Coast before, confirming the team’s ability to provide premier launch service anywhere, anytime. matter when,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart.

“On top of that, we flew through weather conditions and a cloud layer that would have stalled any other launch I’ve worked on in my career, which was only made possible by air launch and our incredible team. We can say with confidence that in this new era of regular, frequent and successful missions, we can help our customers and partners use space technology to advance human knowledge and open up space for good.

“What an unforgettable experience to watch the Virgin Orbit team complete another perfect mission in space. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they do. I shine alongside them,” said the Virgin Orbit founder , Richard Branson. “Today we supported important experimental work for our three satisfied customers. I congratulate them and our wonderful team.

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Thanks to the unique air launch system developed by Virgin Orbit, the Above the Clouds mission was launched into an orbit never before directly accessible from the west coast of the Americas. Rather than launching from a fixed platform on the ground, Virgin Orbit launches under the wing of a modified 747 aircraft, and by flying the aircraft farther over the ocean, the company was able to launch on a trajectory no ground launch rocket could have achieved. This direct injection into the target orbit saved the satellites aboard this mission months of time and kilograms of fuel that they would otherwise have spent correcting their orbit to what a landlocked launch site could give them. to supply.

The Above the Clouds mission was named after the fifth track on Gang Starr’s 1998 album Moment of Truth, featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck. The record was released by Virgin Records in conjunction with Noo Trybe Records and is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.

Virgin Orbit’s latest milestone came just days after the company brought a 70ft rocket to Times Square to mark its IPO as #VORB at Nasdaq headquarters in New York. Head to pristine orbit to know more.

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