The fourth successive satellite launch mission by Virgin Orbit was successful. Straight Up, the company’s first nighttime mission, launched seven satellites to Low Earth Orbit for the United States Space Force. It was given the name Straight Up.
Virgin Orbit’s modified Boeing 747-400, known as Cosmic Girl, has now successfully placed 33 satellites in orbit.
On July 1st, a fully mobile LauncherOne system from Virgin Orbit launched from a runway and a concrete pad at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The launch started at about 22:50 and ended at an orbit 500 kilometres above the Earth’s surface with a 45-degree inclination. This was the company’s second trip to that inclination, an orbit that has never been achieved from the West Coast by another system.
All seven payloads were successfully launched without incident at 00:55 on July 2nd, capping off Virgin Orbit’s nocturnal demonstration of its adaptable space launch capabilities. The Department of Defense Space Test Program provided the seven payloads that were deployed. For various government organisations, the seven satellites will work together to support experiments designed to highlight cutting-edge spacecraft technologies, fresh ideas for satellite uses, and Earth atmospheric science.
Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Orbit, praised Straight Up’s accomplishment and the company’s fourth successful commercial trip.
“With today’s Straight Up flight, the LauncherOne rocket and Virgin Orbit crew have given me great pride. If we can just handle it well collectively, space has so much potential for everyone. We are thrilled to have the chance to collaborate with the US government to make space a secure and productive environment for all”
The United States Space Force contracted Virgin Orbit as part of a three-launch mission in April 2011 to launch the Straight Up mission, also known as STP-S28. The first of the launches was STP-S28A. Additionally, the Straight Up flight represented Virgin Orbit’s first transaction with the US Space Force Rocket Systems Launch Program. The US Department of Defense Space Test Program has purchased from the business three times.
“At such a pivotal time for national security in space, for our country, and for the rest of the world, we are honoured to be supporting and providing for the U.S. Space Force and the U.S. Department of Defense“Executive Vice President Dan Hart said
Up to this point, Virgin Orbit has delivered satellites with a wide range of uses, including commercial, civic, national security, and even international satellites. The Virgin Orbit crew is already planning for its first-ever worldwide launch later this year in the wake of Straight Up’s success. It will be the company’s first orbital launch from UK soil and the first commercial launch from Western Europe. The launch will be conducted in cooperation with the United Kingdom Space Agency, the Royal Air Force, and Space Port Conwall.
Stay tuned and updated with Aviationa2z.