Welcoming Our New Chief Pilot
The heat wave currently melting Southern California arrived just in time to give a warm welcome to the newest member of the Virgin Orbit family, Chief Pilot Eric Bippert! 

Eric joins us with nearly 25 years of aviation experience under his belt, having flown 49 different aircraft from the C-17 to the KC-46 to the Goodyear Blimp. Now, he's getting trained up for his next great adventure: piloting our carrier aircraft, Cosmic Girl.   
Those of you who have been following our story for a while are no doubt familiar with the incredible Kelly Latimer, who has served as our Chief Test Pilot from the very outset of the LauncherOne program. Throughout her tenure leading the Virgin Orbit flight crew, Kelly has also been flying Virgin Galactic’s mothership VMS Eve. Now, with both companies preparing to transition to commercial service, Kelly will take on a more full-time role at Virgin Galactic.

As Eric gets trained up on everything he needs to know to pilot Cosmic Girl, Kelly will remain Pilot in Command for our upcoming Launch Demo 2 mission. And even afterward, we're really excited that she'll continue to support us from her home base at Virgin Galactic.
Read More on Our Blog
Let's Get This Show on the Road
The LauncherOne for Virgin Orbit's Launch Demo 2 mission prepares for shipment to Mojave Air and Space Port in late August.
In a blog we published at the beginning of this sweltering August, we set the goal of getting our next rocket all integrated and ready to ship out to Mojave for additional testing by the end of the month. This past week, having successfully mated both stages and completing initial system-level checkouts, we did just that! 

Our entire team — from the hotshots in engineering to production to quality control and more — is working quickly but deliberately to get LauncherOne back up in the air. It's thanks to those efforts that we've been able to hold to our planned schedule over the last few months, eyeing late 2020 for our big Launch Demo 2 mission.
After transiting up to our test site up at Mojave Air and Space Port, this particular LauncherOne rocket was installed onto a test stand designed to simulate the conditions under Cosmic Girl's left wing. There, the rocket will undergo some fun activities like cryo shock (feeling a little jealous right now...), loading and fueling exercises, and more. 

Once that work is complete, the rocket will head back to Long Beach for some planned hardware swaps — then it's time for Launch Demo 2. Of course, we'll keep you all posted along the way as our second launch campaign progresses. 

In the News

  • There's no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense impact on nearly every major industry in the world, the launch sector included. So what are we envisioning in our crystal ball for its long-term impacts? Read some of CEO Dan Hart's thoughts in SpaceNews.
  • The Abstract, a future-facing podcast produced by the team at Inverse, did a deep dive into how small launch is reshaping the space industry and the role Virgin Orbit will play more specifically. Check out our feature in Episode 40. 
  • As new space technology pushes relentlessly forward, so too must the rules of the road that guide how we launch and operate them. In excellent news for satellite makers and operators, the FCC just published a new, more streamlined set of guidelines to make the licensing and application process much easier. Check out the full story in Geospatial World.

In Our Orbit

Are you an engineering student who wants nothing more than to get your hands on some real flight hardware? Or curious how you can turn your passion for finance, branding, law, etc. into a career in the space industry? 

If so, be sure to submit an application for our Summer 2021 internships! We're really excited that we can revitalize this program for a new set of young rocketeers, many of whom go on to land full-time jobs at Virgin Orbit. 

Not sure if you're qualified? Apply anyway. Never worked in a space-related field before? Apply anyway! The window officially opens on Friday, September 4th, 2020, and closes on Friday, November 13th. You can check out the positions when they open on Friday at our home on the web.
Visit Our Intern Page
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