Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is about to do its final test before its first-ever launch with a payload onboard.
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Virgin Orbit is about to embark on its first-ever launch demo of LauncherOne. And there’s a lot riding on this upcoming test. Virgin Orbit secured a $35 million deal with the U.S. Space Force to launch 44 small satellites spread across three missions within the year, and if LauncherOnes air-launch to orbit strategy is successful it could offer a faster, cheaper, and more flexible way to send small satellites into orbit.
LauncherOne is an expandable two-stage rocket, and its structure uses an all carbon composite design reducing the structure weight of the rocket itself allowing it to carry up to 500kg of cargo to orbit. This impressive design could mean the ability to launch dozens of small satellites in one single mission.
The company joins an already crowded field of rocket companies competing to inject small satellites into low-Earth orbit, but Virgin Orbit hopes to stand out thanks to its different approach used by only a handful of companies like Stratolaunch or Northrop Grumman to give rockets a shortcut as they make their way to orbit.
To find out more about Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne launch we spoke with Virgin Orbit President and CEO Dan Hart. Watch to find out more!
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