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Virgin Orbit conducted the first operational launch of the LauncherOne rocket

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Image source: naked-science.ru

Virgin Orbit launched the LauncherOne rocket. Seven spacecraft were put into orbit for different operators.

Today, Virgin Orbit carried out the second successful launch of the LauncherOne rocket and the first operational mission.

The carrier was launched from a specially upgraded Boeing 747 aircraft that flew from Mojave Air and Space Port.

Before the launch, the rocket was fixed under the wing of the aircraft. After disconnecting from it, LauncherOne turned on the engine, rushing into space. The carrier brought out seven different devices — both civil and military purposes.


Launch of the LauncherOne rocket / ©Michael Sheetz

This is the first Virgin Orbit mission that they decided to broadcast publicly. The company conducted its first launch in 2020: it ended in failure. The first successful launch of Virgin Orbit was carried out in January.

LauncherOne is a relatively small rocket capable of launching a payload weighing 300 kilograms into a sun-synchronous orbit. The rocket's capabilities are enough to launch a wide range of modern small satellites.

This is just the beginning of a long journey: it was recently announced that Virgin Orbit wants to increase the number of launches in 2022.

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