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Forever Our Cosmic Girl

... and that's a wrap! Just after midnight Pacific on Saturday, July 2, we launched into Independence Day weekend by successfully completing our fourth mission to orbit. Straight Up carried seven satellites to Low Earth Orbit for the United States Space Force (USSF), who procured this launch for the Rocket Systems Launch Program, with payloads provided by the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP). In support of our mission partners, Virgin Orbit has now delivered a total of thirty-three satellites to their target orbit with 100% mission success.

Our fully-mobile LauncherOne system conducted its first-ever evening flight from a bare concrete pad at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The launch initiated at 10:50 p.m. local time, Friday, July 1, and concluded a couple of hours later with the successful deployment of all seven payloads at approximately 12:55 a.m. Pacific on the morning of July 2 -- our first, but not last, nighttime demonstration of our responsive space launch capabilities. 

Adding much to the excitement, popstar sensation Paula Abdul, whose song, Straight Up, inspired our mission name, visited us at the Mojave Air and Space Port ahead of the launch. She met with the team and got a special tour of the facility. Yes, she's forever our girl.

Read the Success Story

We Are Better Together 

And if we needed another reason to celebrate ... last month we announced that our first international commercial rocket launch will carry a joint U.K. and U.S. mission. 

This historic launch -- the first ever on British soil and the first commercial launch from Western Europe -- will feature a shared mission between the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the United States’ National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The launch is scheduled to take place later in the year out of Newquay Airport in Cornwall in southwestern Britain. 
 
The mission is expected to pave the way for a more collaborative and connected space communication system between the United States and its allies. The two Prometheus 2 CubeSats that we will deploy will provide a test platform for monitoring radio signals, including GPS and sophisticated imaging.

Read the Announcement

Viva Brazil!

Alongside the Brazilian Space Agency, we have formed a new subsidiary, Virgin Orbit Brasil Ltda., to conduct launches from the nation’s Alcântara Space Center. From there, Cosmic Girl will fly hundreds of miles before releasing a rocket directly above the equator – a global sweet spot – or at other optimal locations identified for each individual mission.

In addition to bringing an important new capability to the country and economic value to the region, the locale is geographically one of the most advantageous places in the world for our LauncherOne system to launch satellites into orbit, another move toward opening space for good, for everyone, from everywhere.
Read All About It

Welcome Aboard, Stephen!

Seasoned aerospace and defense investor liaison Stephen Zhang has joined the Virgin Orbit team as Vice President of Investor Relations. He is the first to hold that title and will work as the company’s primary liaison to the investor community while advising the internal leadership team.

Stephen served as Director of Investor Relations at Raytheon Technologies directly before joining Virgin Orbit. He supported the company’s executive team in engaging top shareholders and helped guide the company through several transformational corporate initiatives and a merger of equals with Raytheon Company to form Raytheon Technologies. We’re happy he’s joined our Virgin Orbit family!
More About Stephen
Celebrating Independence

As we celebrate the nation’s birthday this week, we reflect on our cherished values of independence and democracy. 

We're proud to support the United States and its allies with our launch services. Facilitating spaceflight around the globe helps democratize space and promote economic independence everywhere. It is an effort to use space to drive lasting positive change here on Earth.

In the News: Across the Nation and Around the World

 
 
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