Pylon Successfully Attached to Cosmic Girl

Our dedicated 747 carrier aircraft, Cosmic Girl, is the key to our flexible, responsive, and affordable launch services, and lately she's been looking stronger than usual. It's not just because we're all still super into jazzercise videos (but honestly who isn't? #jazzerciseforlife), it's because of the incredible new hardware addition to our flight system!

Recently, our tireless team has been hard at work installing the pylon that will carry LauncherOne to its ignition altitude. The pylon is a critical piece of our flight system and represents a significant technical milestone for our program. The engineers and technicians who have worked toward this achievement showcase some of the best parts of Virgin Orbit, including our dedication to nonstop innovation and teamwork. 

We've already successfully completed taxi-testing and initial flight tests with the new addition to our flight system, and we're looking forward to captive carry flight tests as the next phase of our development. Stay tuned for more updates as we work to revolutionize the smallsat industry through airlaunch. #NoPlaneNoGain

Our Tests Are Getting Bigger and Better

Good things come to those who sweat, and as usual, things are heating up in Mojave. The LauncherOne program made some huge gains in August, as we conducted some of our most serious and ambitious tests yet, highlighted by a series of hotfires of a fully integrated upper stage. For years, we've been testing flight-like engines, flight-like tanks, and flight-like avionics and software — but now, all those elements are working together in a single integrated test. 

But work on our other test stands hasn't stopped! We're busier than ever with high fidelity tests, including a full simulated mission for our upper stage engine. We pushed NewtonFour, our flight avionics and flight software to the limit — first running a hotfire that lasted more than six minutes (367 seconds, to be exact), followed by a half-hour breather before the engine automatically re-ignited for another 37-second “circularization” burn. 

Our team has taken a cue from long-distance runners, who say, “When your legs are tired, you run with your heart.” We’ve put in countless hours and unquantifiable brainpower into getting to where we are today — and the finish line is so much closer than it was before.
More Great Technical Information

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Our team loves to meet other small satellite enthusiasts, and our trip around the world to boost imagination continues! The 2018 Small Satellite Conference was a red hot affair, and it’s all thanks to the folks who stopped by our booth for some lively Happy Hour networking and to play our Launch Quest video game. We had a blast hosting our Escape to Orbit workshop, too — congratulations again to the winner of one of our sweet LauncherOne models! 

We hope you all had a chance to meet our bartender/CEO Dan Hart while he was pouring drinks during Happy Hour. Way to embody the spirit of Virgin customer service, Dan! 

If you didn’t get a chance to talk rockets with the Virgin Orbit team in Utah, catch us during Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week, which kicks off September 10 in Paris, France. We’ll be opening the conference with a bang on Tuesday morning, Sept 11, when Dan Hart will take the stage alongside Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck and Kymeta’s Nathan Kundtz to discuss the most disruptive space technology turning the industry on its head.

Virgin Orbit In the News

Virgin Orbit CEO, Dan Hart, being interviewed for the Constellations Podcast by Kratos.

In Our Orbit 

As small satellites become more and more powerful tools for Earth observation, space science, and telecommunications, we know this is a class of spacecraft that deserves our dedicated attention and support. This year's Small Satellite Conference showcased a number of exciting new missions and technologies, and we could not be more excited to be part of this industry. Read more about these innovative new concepts in this article by Alan Boyle for Geek Wire
Stay tuned for more great news, updates, and #fitspiration from our team. 
Virgin Orbit, Over and Out!
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