It was the small satellite launcher’s first successful night mission when Virgin Orbit launched a rocket carrying seven satellites early on Saturday morning at 1:49 AM ET (10:49 PM local) from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.
With the use of the Virgin Boeing 747 carrier aircraft called the Cosmic Girl. Which had the LauncherOne rocket fitted beneath one of its wings, the business was able to place the satellites into low Earth orbit.
The NASA Space Test Program’s Straight Up mission, named after a 1988 Paula Abdul song, featured seven research satellites. Similar to its previous flights, Virgin Orbit carried the LauncherOne rocket 35,000 feet above the earth aboard Cosmic Girl. Giving it a head start before the rocket detaches and sends its payload into orbit. The trip was first delayed by Virgin Orbit on Thursday because the rocket propellant temperature was “slightly out of limits.”
Virgin Orbit has attempted five launches in all, however only one of those efforts was unsuccessful—during the first test flight in May 2020. Since entering orbit for the first time in January 2021, putting a group of satellites in orbit in June 2021, and completing a further mission earlier this year, it has been on a roll. Straight Up is the fourth successful flight for it to date.
The British billionaire Richard Branson owns Virgin Orbit, which should not be confused with Virgin Galactic. The company’s distinct division for commercial spaceflight. Last year, the business became public through a combination of a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company). Virgin Orbit intends to launch from Cornwall, England later this year. Even though it has already completed all of its launches from Southern California.