Virgin Orbit prepares for its first launch mission into the orbit
By Akshay Kedari  Date: 2020-05-21

Virgin Orbit prepares for its first launch mission into the orbit

Virgin Orbit had recently announced that its LauncherOne air-launched vehicle shall be marking its first flight in the coming days. The company has, however, set modest expectations regarding the probability of success.

The company has commented that its plan, for now, is to perform an inaugural LauncherOne mission on May 24, with Cosmic Girl, which is modified Boeing 747 to fly out of Mojave Air & Space Port in California. The launch window of about four hours will be starting at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The firm has already reserved a backup launch date in the same four-hour window on May 25.

Cosmic Girl shall be releasing the LauncherOne rocket that attached to its left-wing around 50 minutes after the flight takes off from Mojave, flying close to the Channel Islands off California coast. The rocket will be igniting the NewtonThree engine after five seconds and power the first stage for a burn of three minutes.

The first stage shall separate after the end of the burn and the smaller NewtonFour engine that is powering the second stage shall ignite for about six minutes, along with the payload fairing of the rocket to separate around 20 seconds into the burn. Post shutdown, the rocket shall be coasting for about 22 minutes before it fires the NewtonFour once again for 15 seconds and further releasing the payload in the low earth orbit.

The firm has not been planning to stream the launch live and will also not host press in Mojave on account of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic spread. However, it has ensured that it shall be providing updates on social media.

Virgin Orbit has often accentuated that this mission is essentially a test flight, that the other launch vehicles have experienced around 50% of a success rate on their first launches. The company has described that launch would be carrying a ‘test payload’ that shall remain within the orbit for a short amount of time even after the launch is a success.

 

Source Credit- https://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-ready-for-first-orbital-launch-attempt/

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Akshay Kedari    

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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