Virgin Orbit launched a rocket carrying seven satellites from California’s Mojave Air and Area Port early Saturday morning at 1:49 AM ET (10:49PM native), marking the small satellite tv for pc launcher’s first profitable evening mission. The corporate introduced the satellites into low Earth orbit with the assistance of its Boeing 747 service plane known as Cosmic Lady, which had the LauncherOne rocket hooked up beneath considered one of its wings.
The mission, known as Straight Up after a 1988 Paula Abdul music, concerned seven analysis satellites as a part of NASA’s Area Take a look at Program. Like its earlier missions, Virgin Orbit propelled the satellites into house by having Cosmic Lady carry the LauncherOne rocket 35,000 toes above the bottom, giving it a headstart earlier than the rocket detaches and launches its payload into orbit. Virgin Orbit initially postponed the mission on Thursday after discovering that its rocket propellant temperature was “barely out of bounds.”
Congratulations to our staff for finishing one other profitable mission to house right now! We deployed a complete of seven buyer satellites into Low Earth Orbit as deliberate. #StraightUp
— Virgin Orbit (@VirginOrbit) July 2, 2022
Virgin Orbit has made 5 launch makes an attempt in whole, however solely failed as soon as throughout its first check flight in Could 2020. It has been on a roll since first reaching orbit in January 2021, deploying a set of satellites into orbit in June 2021 and finishing one more mission earlier this yr. Virgin Orbit’s Straight Up mission is the corporate’s fourth profitable flight so far.
Virgin Orbit is owned by the British billionaire Richard Branson, and isn’t to be confused with Virgin Galactic, the corporate’s separate department for business spaceflight. The corporate went public by way of a SPAC (particular objective acquisition firm) merger final yr. Whereas it has accomplished all its launches from Southern California to date, Virgin Orbit plans on taking off from Cornwall, England later this yr.