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Virgin Orbit mission success brings UK launch another step closer

Virgin Orbit’s subsequent satellite tv for pc launch will happen from the UK, following the success of the “Straight Up” mission, which lifted off from Mojave in California earlier in the present day.

Science Minister George Freeman and the UK Space Agency welcomed the information that Virgin Orbit has efficiently accomplished its fourth mission from California, and its first night time launch.

With this mission full, Virgin Orbit is on observe for launch from Spaceport Cornwall later this 12 months. The UK Space Agency and Cornwall Council are supporting the launch, with Spaceport Cornwall set to create 150 jobs within the native space.

Science Minister George Freeman mentioned: “Congratulations to Virgin Orbit on another profitable US mission, which demonstrates the power of its modern launch platform to place satellites into orbit day or night time. With the countdown on to the primary satellite tv for pc launch from UK soil, it’s unimaginable to see Cosmic Girl and LauncherOne in motion earlier than they head to Spaceport Cornwall.

“We are in a strong position to capitalise on the growing global demand for small satellite launch and to do so in a way that will keep space and our planet sustainable for future generations.”

Matthew Archer, Director of Commercial Spaceflight on the UK Space Agency, who joined the Virgin Orbit workforce for the launch from the Mojave Air and Space Port, mentioned: “The success of the Straight Up mission is another thrilling milestone on our method to seeing the primary satellite tv for pc launch from UK soil. We are working carefully with Virgin Orbit and it was a privilege to be alongside our companions to witness another profitable launch for the workforce.

“The UK is home to some of the world’s leading satellite manufacturers, which currently ship their products overseas for launch. We are supporting them by fostering a new domestic launch market, with spaceports and launch operators providing services across the UK and catalysing investment from all over the world.”

Today’s Virgin Orbit mission launched seven satellites on behalf of the U.S. Space Force that may experiment in space-based communications, in-space navigation and local weather change.

Quite a lot of nationwide and worldwide satellites have additionally been confirmed for the primary UK launch later this 12 months, with clients together with Space Forge, Satellite Applications Catapult and Horizon Technologies, the MOD, DSTL and US National Reconnaissance Office, and the Sultanate of Oman.

Unlike many rockets, Virgin Orbit’s Launcher One takes off horizontally, carried aloft by a modified Boeing 747 plane, named Cosmic Girl.
This was Virgin Orbit’s fourth industrial flight. In January 2021 the corporate put its first satellites into house, after launching from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.

Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall, mentioned: “The success of this last launch in California is extremely rewarding for Spaceport Cornwall and the UK space sector. It was amazing to see both the team from Virgin Orbit and our team working together to mirror the US operations in real-time – ensuring we’re mission-ready for the Summer. This gave us a taste of what is to come and our team could not be more excited.”

The UK Government’s National Space Strategy units out how the UK will turn into the primary nation in Europe to launch satellites into orbit in 2022. Spaceport Cornwall is one among seven potential spaceport websites throughout the UK which can assist to cement the UK’s function as a science superpower and assist unleash a wave of innovation throughout the nation.
The launch title, “Straight Up,” is impressed by American singer Paula Abdul’s tune of that title, from her album Forever Your Girl.

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