Virgin Orbit to test launch LauncherOne rocket
|Virgin Orbit, part of the Virgin Group Empire of British billionaire Richard Branson, has set the launch window for the second demonstration launch of the LauncherOne rocket. |
The LauncherOne carrier is planned to be used for launching small satellites weighing up to 500 kg into space. The proposed scheme involves launching a rocket in the air after being dropped from the Cosmic Girl carrier plane, which is a specially modified version of the Boeing 747. This approach eliminates the need to use special launch pads at spaceports.
The first air launch of LauncherOne took place in may this year. Unfortunately, after the rocket was separated from the carrier aircraft, the onboard systems detected anomalies, and the tests were discontinued.
As a result of this launch, Virgin Orbit specialists made a number of changes to the operation of propulsion and other systems. It is expected that this time the missile tests will be successful.
So, it is reported that the test launch is scheduled for December 19, on Saturday. If the launch is delayed for some reason, a backup launch date is set for December 20. A small satellite will be on Board the carrier.
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