Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket suffers failure in UK


Virgin Orbit’s modified Boeing 747 jet — dubbed ‘Cosmic Girl’ — took off Monday from Newquay, County Cornwall, England. 245 miles west of London, it is the first launch from mainland Britain. However, about two hours after the plane leaves the ground The rocket starts its engines and plummets into space, with Virgin Orbit revealing that the launch has failed.

“It looks like LauncherOne has experienced an anomaly and is no longer in orbit for this mission,” said director Christopher Relf. Learn about Virgin Orbit’s system engineering and validation in our Virgin Orbit live stream covering the launch. LauncherOne is the name of a successfully flown air-launched rocket. Under the wing of the Cosmic Girl machine.

The rocket had no people on board, just a satellite, but at first it appeared to have been launched from a 747 jet without incident. Reif confirmed that the rocket’s second stage was coasting in orbit, preparing to fire the engines for a second burn. However, he later revealed that it did not go as intended.

“We are looking at the information and data we get,” he added. “And we Please come back soon.

follow up Tweet I repeated Relf’s comment from Virgin Orbit and read: Evaluating information. ”

Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl aircraft and crew have returned safely to the ground after Monday’s launch, the company confirmed in a livestream.

The company’s shares, already down nearly 9% during Monday’s trading hours, fell another 28% after hours. As of 8pm ET, it was just $1.40 per share.

Monday’s event Aiming to To commemorate the first successful launch from the UK, technically the rocket is designed to launch while Space Girls is in flight.

A modified Boeing 747 flew about 35,000 feet (10.7km) before release of A rocket mounted under the wing.

Virgin Orbit expects LauncherOne It will travel 310 to 745 miles (499 to 1199 kilometers) above the ground and launch nine satellites into low Earth orbit.

The cause of the rocket’s failure was not immediately clear.

The launch is the first commercial satellite launch from Western Europe for Virgin Orbit, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, and aims to be Virgin Orbit’s first outside the United States. rice field.

Since January 2021, the US-based company has completed four successful launches from California’s Mojave Desert.The company Also, I have experienced one failure before. Virgin Orbit’s first launch attempt from California in May 2020 Failed due to engine trouble.

Ahead of the flight, Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart described the UK mission as a “historic endeavor”.

“This launch marks the dawn of a new era in the UK space industry and a new partnership between industry, government and allies,” he said in a statement issued on Friday.

The satellites on board Monday were owned by seven customers, including private companies and government agencies. Among other things, the satellites were expected to be used to combat illegal human trafficking, smuggling and terrorism, reducing the environmental impact of production, the company said in a news release on Friday.

The mission, named ‘Start Me Up’ after the 1981 Rolling Stones song, was a joint venture between Virgin Orbit, the British Space Agency, the Cornwall local government and the Royal Air Force.

The launch was expected to mark an important milestone in the UK’s growing commercial satellite sector.

Morgan Stanley has invested in the country to capture a larger share of the rapidly growing global space market, which it estimates could be worth more than $1 trillion by 2040. has been working on commercial spaceports for several years.

According to the latest available government figures, the country’s £16.5 billion ($20 billion) space industry will directly support around 47,000 jobs between 2019 and 2020.

The UK Space Agency’s Deputy Commissioner, Ian Annett, said on Friday that the launch marks a “new era” for the UK space industry. [it] It is firmly on the map as Europe’s leading destination for commercial small satellite launches. ”

“The development of new orbital launch capabilities is already generating growth, driving investment and creating jobs in Cornwall and other communities across the UK,” he added.

The small satellite launch industry is a fast-growing business around the world, but especially in the United States. Virgin Orbit is one of the first in a long list of startups trying to create small rockets that can carry lightweight satellites into orbit quickly and cheaply. Growing A business model with dozens of global competitors. However, the industry is also known to be fickle. Other smaller rocket startups have also suffered failures in recent months and years, including US-based companies such as Firefly and Astra.

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