Virgin Orbit is gearing up for a second try at launching a rocket to space from a modified Boeing 747 jet plane. It’s part of an ongoing effort to build a launch system for small satellites. The first attempt, which took place in May 2020, failed seconds after the rocket left the aircraft. Virgin Orbit has announced it will attempt the feat again on December 19 during a four-hour window from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or during a similar time frame the following day. The aircraft will take off from Virgin Orbit’s base in California’s Mojave Desert before heading out over the Pacific to ignite the 70-foot-long LauncherOne rocket. The upcoming Launch Demo 2 mission carries extra responsibility as the rocket will for the first time be loaded, for the first time, with customers’ satellites that include a set of cubesats for NASA. The company won’t be livestreaming the event but is promising to provide real-time updates on Twitter as the mission progresses. Virgin Orbit’s first attempt to send its LauncherOne rocket into space by firing it from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747 took place in May 2020. But just seconds after igniting, an anomaly with the… Read full this story
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