Virgin Orbit has obtained authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to test-fly the company’s rocket system through what the agency calls a reusable launch vehicle mission.
FAA issued Friday a commercial space transportation license that says Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne platform can launch from a Boeing 747-400 carrier aircraft as part of the test slated to occur at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
The license will expire after the RLV mission’s conclusion or by Dec. 31 of next year, whichever occurs first, according to the agency.
LauncherOne is designed to launch small satellites into low-Earth orbit.
Virgin Orbit received a contract in November of last year to demonstrate its rocket system under the Defense Department‘s Space Test Program.