Virgin Orbit reaches orbit for the first time

Vir­gin Orbit launched its LauncherOne rock­et to orbit for the first time today, with a suc­cess­ful demon­stra­tion mis­sion that car­ried a hand­ful of satel­lites and will attempt to deliv­er them to low Earth orbit on behalf of NASA. It’s a cru­cial mile­stone for the small satel­lite launch com­pa­ny, and the first time the com­pa­ny has shown that its hybrid car­ri­er aircraft/small pay­load orbital deliv­ery rock­et works as intend­ed, which should set the com­pa­ny up to begin com­mer­cial oper­a­tions of its launch sys­tem very soon.

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