MOJAVE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 13, 2022–
Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), the responsive launch and space solutions company, confirmed that it had successfully deployed all 7 customer satellites aboard its LauncherOne rocket into orbit today. Over the clouds mission.
Virgin Orbit’s 747 carrier plane, Cosmic Girl, lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port this afternoon at approximately 1:39 p.m. PST / 9:39 p.m. UTC and flew to a launch site above the Pacific Ocean, about 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. This is the first time anyone has reached this orbit from the west coast.
The launch was the company’s third successful flight, occurring less than a year after its first mission. Virgin Orbit has now successfully delivered commercial, government, international and national security satellites into space, including new Over the clouds customer Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR), and the very first regular customers: the US Department of Defense’s space test program and the Polish company SatRevolution. This launch was awarded to Virgin Orbit through its subsidiary VOX Space by the DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) as part of the DoD Space Test Program (STP) Rapid Agile Launch (RALI) initiative.
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.
Thanks to the unique aerial launch system developed by Virgin Orbit, the Over the clouds mission was launched into an orbit never 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.
“Our customers are starting to hear from their satellites connecting from orbit — and to us, that’s what success looks like. It’s a pleasure for our team that this mission includes our first customers. regulars as well as our first “last minute” customers and reaches 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,” Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said. which was only made possible by Air Launch and our amazing 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.
“Today’s achievement truly shows the future of space launch capabilities, something that is of paramount importance to national security,” said VOX Space President Mark Baird, a Brigadier General at retirement from the United States Air Force. “We have the ability to launch anywhere, anytime and without warning, allowing us to customize launches to serve a government’s mission and goals, allowing us to be better mission partners in their space operations.”
“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.
Over the clouds is 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 (Nasdaq: VORB) operates one of the most flexible and responsive space launch systems ever built. Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, the company began commercial service in 2021 and has already put commercial, civilian, national security and international satellites into orbit. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, Calif., and are launched from a modified 747-400 carrier aircraft that allows Virgin Orbit to operate from locations around the world to better respond to needs of each client. Learn more about www.virginorbit.com and visit us at LinkedIn, on Twitter @virginorbit, and on Instagram @virgin.orbit.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “believe”, “project”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “strategy”, “future”, “opportunity “, “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will,” “will,” “will likely,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, therefore, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Virgin Orbit undertakes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information , future events or otherwise. Virgin Orbit does not guarantee that it will meet its expectations.
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Copyright BusinessWire 2022.
PUBLISHED: 01/13/2022 8:29 PM / DISK: 01/13/2022 8:29 PM
Copyright BusinessWire 2022.