Virgin Orbit will attempt to send LauncherOne into orbit on Sunday



Virgin Orbit targeted its third space flight attempt on Sunday.

The launch window for the Mojave Air and Space Port of California is set for January 17 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. local time, according to a tweet from Virgin One, with backup slots on January 24 and 31.

This will be Virgin Orbit’s third trip to the launch pad – previous ones were canceled in May 2020 due to engine issues and in December by an increase in coronavirus cases.

If all goes well, the rocket will drop freely from the Cosmic Girl carrier plane at around 35,000 feet and float into orbit.

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Virgin One's LauncherOne is scheduled to take off from Mojave Air and Space Port of California on January 17 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time

Virgin One’s LauncherOne is scheduled to take off from Mojave Air and Space Port of California on January 17 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time

Our launch readiness review [LRR] is finished, our material looks great and our customers are ready, tweeted.

“We are following the latest actions identified in our LRR. Our launch is now targeted for NET [no earlier than] Sunday January 17th, with additional windows in January if needed.

If all goes as planned on Sunday morning, Cosmic Girl will take off with LauncherOne hidden under one of its wings.

The rocket, which is designed to deliver small satellites into space, will drop freely to about 35,000 feet and float in orbit.

If all goes well, LauncherOne will drop freely from its carrier plane, Cosmic Girl, at 35,000 feet and float in orbit.

If all goes well, LauncherOne will drop freely from its carrier plane, Cosmic Girl, at 35,000 feet and float in orbit.

Ten CubeSats from NASA and various US universities will be aboard LauncherOne, which can deliver over 1,000 pounds of payload in a 1,200-mile low-altitude equatorial orbit, or up to 661 pounds in a 310-mile polar orbit. from above.

If it reaches an altitude of 50 miles, this will be the first time Virgin Orbit has successfully launched anything into space.

The division owned by Richard Branson postponed LauncherOne’s first orbital test flight on May 24, 2020 due to a problem with a sensor.

“ Everything went well: the team, the planes and the rocket are in excellent shape. However, we have a sensor that hurts, ” the company tweeted.

Ten CubeSats from NASA and various US universities will be aboard LauncherOne, which can deliver over 1,000 pounds of payload in a 1,200-mile low-altitude equatorial orbit, or up to 661 pounds in a 310-high polar orbit. miles.

Ten CubeSats from NASA and various US universities will be aboard LauncherOne, which can deliver over 1,000 pounds of payload in a 1,200-mile low-altitude equatorial orbit, or up to 661 pounds in a 310-mile polar orbit. from above.

“ As a precaution we are unloading fuel to remedy this, ” he said, adding that the launch had been ‘cleaned up for today’.

Another attempt, on May 25, made a successful takeoff and saw LauncherOne come out of Cosmic Girl, but its engine quickly died and it plunged into the Pacific.

According to the company, the outage was caused by a ruptured liquid oxygen supply line to the rocket’s first stage engine.

LauncherOne's first launch in May 2020 was unsuccessful, as the rocket engine died shortly after its detachment from Cosmic Girl

LauncherOne’s first launch in May 2020 was unsuccessful, as the rocket engine died shortly after its detachment from Cosmic Girl

“The story is not terribly favorable to inaugural flights,” said Will Pomerantz, vice president of special projects at Virgin Orbit. Taking my best guess at faith, about half the girl [rocket] the flights fail. So it is in a way the historical chances that we are opposed to.

Pomerantz insisted the Virgin Orbit team had done everything they could to prepare for the launch.

“ You basically get to a point where you’ve looked under every rock and check that there’s nothing more to do to verify that the system is ready. ”

“That’s what we did.

In December, another attempt, dubbed “ Launch Demo 2 ”, was abandoned from Spaceport America in New Mexico due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles, where Virgin Orbit is based.

The company said several members of the team tested positive, although there was no transmission between staff.




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