The Duels 4
But as we gear up for our maiden flight, it’s the combination of the two that will be most important. It is an air launch to orbit rocket, designed to launch "smallsat" payloads of 300 kilograms (660 lb) into Sun-synchronous orbit, following air launch from a carrier aircraft at high altitude. Our previous LauncherOne served valiantly through a battery of tests highlighted by several captive carry flights and especially by our flawless drop test. It’s crucial that every element comes together seamlessly. Announcing the Window for Our Launch Demo, Get the latest news & updates from Virgin Orbit, We are on a mission to open space for everyone, Virgin Orbit Ignites LauncherOne Rocket During First Launch Demo, Mission Safely Terminated. We’ve added new milestones for Virgin Orbit and customer deliverables, providing more guidance for the planning process, as well as more information about the qualification and acceptance testing needed to fly on LauncherOne. It took some time but in this business it pays to be incredibly thorough — we know full well what the historical odds are for maiden flights of brand new launch systems, and we intend to give ourselves the best chance of success. We accomplished many of the goals we set for ourselves, though not as many as we would have liked,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. To stay in the loop as Virgin Orbit prepares for our first flight to space, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn — or sign up for our monthly newsletter, chock full of technical updates and small satellite news from around the world. After being released from the carrier aircraft, the LauncherOne rocket successfully lighted its booster engine on cue — the first time the company had attempted an in-air ignition. “This contract win is an important milestone for ExoTerra and aligns with our goal of developing high efficiency propulsion systems to support lunar and interplanetary missions,” Michael VanWoerkom, ExoTerra president and CEO, said in a statement. This week, after a very hard drive by our teammates in our Long Beach factory, we waved good-bye to our latest test rocket. Over the last month, we’ve subjected the rocket to an array of full-vehicle system checkouts. Virgin Orbit’s decision to begin production of multiple rockets well in advance of this test flight will enable the team to progress to the next attempt at a significantly faster pace, shortly after making any necessary modifications to the launch system. “This win allows ExoTerra to begin development of an upper stage that will deliver up to 150 kilograms of payload to the moon,” according to the news release. Our engineers are already poring through the data. An anomaly then occurred early in first stage flight, and the mission safely terminated. The thruster draws on technology ExoTerra licensed from a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory program called Ascendant Sub-kW Transcelestial Electric Propulsion System or ASTRAEUS. The upper stage also could transport 180-kilogram payloads to geostationary orbit, the release added. Royal Air Force Pilot Seconded to Virgin Orbit, Get the latest news & updates from Virgin Orbit, We are on a mission to open space for everyone. The work, ranging from electromagnetic interference (EMI) tests to guidance and navigation tests, from sequence tests to transmitter checks, has led us to quite literally poke, prod and inspect every aspect of this launch vehicle. With ExoTerra’s Solar Electric Propulsion Upper Stage, LauncherOne customers could reach destinations including geostationary orbit, trans-lunar injection orbit, Earth-Moon Lagrange points and low lunar orbit, according to the ExoTerra news release. Test flights are instrumented to yield data and we now have a treasure trove of that. LauncherOne is a two stage orbital launch vehicle under development by Virgin Orbit since 2007. SAN FRANCISCO – Colorado startup ExoTerra Resources announced a NASA Small Business Innovative Research contract Oct. 5 to develop a solar electric upper stage to boost small satellites traveling on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne beyond low Earth orbit. Our stage test campaign taught us how to safely operate the rocket and our ground support equipment, while our flight test campaign improved our understanding of how the two vehicles behave in the air. Our orbital test flight rocket is currently being installed into a newly built test stand in Mojave, where in the coming weeks we’ll run through a number of critical exercises, including loading and fueling with our mobile ground support equipment. We hated to see it go, but we can’t wait to see it fly away! And after each test we gathered to ask ourselves the hardest questions and dig deeply into the data. Virgin Orbit is a revolutionary service that provides launch solutions for small satellites. Our proprietary launch system is light, fast, flexible, and affordable, and with Virgin's legendary customer service, we guarantee a smooth ride throughout the entire mission. Mojave, California — May 25, 2020 — Virgin Orbit, the California-based satellite launch company, conducted a launch demonstration of its innovative air-launched rocket today in the skies over the Pacific Ocean just off the California coast.


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