Spaceflight adds Virgin Orbit to its lineup

Virgin Orbit launch

An artist’s conception shows Virgin Orbit’s “Cosmic Girl” 747 jet carrying a LauncherOne rocket in preparation for air launch. (Virgin Orbit Illustration)

Seattle-based Spaceflight has a new product to offer customers who want to get small satellites up and running: Virgin Orbit’s air-launch system.

Virgin Orbit’s system, which involves sending its two-stage LauncherOne rocket into orbit from a converted Boeing 747 jet dubbed Cosmic Girl, isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. But it’s due to become available soon, and when the rockets start flying, they’ll offer Spaceflight’s clients something that’s been hard to get up to now.

Melissa Wuerl, Spaceflight’s director of business development, said her company’s customers have been asking for launch opportunities that can put small satellites into low- to mid-latitude orbital inclinations that stick close to Earth’s equator.

“We started casting about … and there just wasn’t any,” she told GeekWire.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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