pristine orbit has been selected by NASA’s Launch Services Program to provide launch services for its Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated Rideshare (VADR) missions.
“This contract award is a big step forward for commercial space,” said Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit. “The VADR contract vehicle now provides a platform for NASA to more easily contract flights on our LauncherOne service. This means it will be easier than ever for us to work with NASA to provide targeted and cost-effective access to space, maximizing the scientific gains from their small satellite missions and enabling ever greater technological innovation.
Virgin Orbit has already launched 13 satellites into space for NASA through programs such as the Venture Class Launch Services program and the CubeSat Launch Initiative. In a similar spirit, the acquisition of VADR will build on this base. The contract has a five-year order period, with a maximum total value of $300 million, and will be managed by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Services Program in Florida.
Virgin Orbit recently completed its third successful launch in less than 12 months, bringing the total number of successfully deployed satellites to 26. The team has already proven its LauncherOne system, reaching new orbital inclinations never before possible from the west coast of the United States, and even launching in bad weather. Virgin Orbit is now increasing its flight rate to meet strong demand from commercial customers, the national security community, the international community and, through programs like VADR, the US civilian space community.
Meanwhile, Virgin Orbit has also announcement Dr. Candace Givens as the new Vice President of Engineering. Dr. Givens brings over two decades of experience at Northrop Grumman, Boeing and TRW Space & Defense.
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