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Your Roadmap to the Stars
Those familiar with aerospace know that technical documents can be fairly cryptic and uninviting. You shouldn't have to sift through unclear language and overly complex terminology just to get your satellite a ride to space... and yet, all too often when we first crack open technical specs, our reaction is: "You gotta be Vulcan kidding me!"

We want to communicate with our customers in a way that's as simple and straightforward as possible. After all, designing a spacecraft to operate in orbit is challenging enough — who needs the extra headache

We've kept that idea top of mind in updating our LauncherOne Service Guide for 2020. Not only have we implemented changes to make the content easier to digest, we've also added a ton of useful information for both customers new to the space industry and experienced launch veterans. 

One of the most notable changes comes out of learnings from our first Launch Demo. That data has improved our confidence in our random vibration predictions, allowing us to reduce our vibe loads by 6 dB for satellites greater than 60 kg! 

Check out our 2020 Service Guide at our home on the web to see other updates — and if you're interested in planning a mission on LauncherOne, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at launch@virginorbit.com.
 
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Responsive Launch: The Final Frontier
At Mojave Air and Space Port in California, a US Air Force photographer relays live video to DoD leadership during a field test of USAF’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). September 3rd, 2020. Credit: Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Air Force embarked on the second major exercise of its new Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). ABMS is the focus of a new strategy to modernize communications and decision-making across the entirety of the U.S. Armed Forces, centering around the concept of Joint All-Domain Command & Control (JADC2), or the convergence of strategic, operational, and tactical resources across all domains.

The space domain has become a key tenet of USAF’s ABMS planning, with a specific emphasis on enabling the responsive launch of small, inexpensive satellites. As has become clear, distributed networks of small satellites can be far more resilient than traditional architectures — and what's more, the ability to quickly and easily replace them if one fails serves as a strong deterrent to misbehavior in orbit.

To that end, as part of this on-ramp exercise, VOX Space simulated the responsive launch of a critical satellite for U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) on a very short call-up time, demonstrating the advantages of the company’s unique air-launched system.

Beyond the fact that it's just plane cool, air-launch is attractive primarily because of its unparalleled flexibility. LauncherOne, unlike its ground-locked counterparts, operates independently of established launch ranges, and can therefore reach any orbital inclination on a schedule that makes the most sense. From orbit-raising to traffic jams at the pad, air-launch completely bypasses some of the most frustrating elements of traditional launch — and that's revolutionary for the U.S. government and other customers as well. 

As VOX Space President Mandy Vaughn commented: “We’re extremely proud to have participated in this exercise alongside the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Force and partners around the globe... It’s also very motivating to see USSF commit to leveraging the commercial space market to create a more modern and robust space architecture. Our team is excited to lend a hand in helping to keep people safe back on Earth, even as the space domain up above grows ever more contested."
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In Our Orbit

As agencies plan for the future, the National Space Council (NSC) has been deeply involved in the commercialization of civilian and military space requirements for the U.S. government. But what are the government's most urgent requirements? And with the NewSpace sector more dynamic than ever, which commercial capabilities will be ripe for the taking? Catch up on the Council's latest thoughts on everything from Space Force appropriation to space traffic management in this special SpaceCom 2020 update, featuring VOX Space Prez Mandy Vaughn and others.

Another conversation that deserves some attention will be hosted by CSIS during World Space Week, a panel titled "Leading Rapid Technological Change in the Space Community: Perspectives of the Women in Charge." Speakers here, including Mandy again, will highlight some of the incredible women changing the space industry for the better. Join the discussion on Friday, October 9, 2020 — registration is free!
 
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