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Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne Rocket Brings 10 NASA CubeSats to Orbit

Virgin Orbit LauncherOne
Virgin Orbit LauncherOne

Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket deployed 10 small satellites into the target orbit for NASA's Launch Services Program as part of its second launch demonstration.

The company's carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl with the two-stage rocket lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California on Sunday and LauncherOne separated from the modified 747-400 aircraft through an air-launch technique to deliver the CubeSat payloads to orbit, Virgin Orbit said Sunday.

NASA selected the payloads as part of its CubeSat Launch Initiative. The payloads were designed and tested by U.S. universities, including the University of Michigan, the Brigham Young University and the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.

The second launch demo marks the transition of Virgin Orbit to commercial service for its upcoming mission. The company's launch service customers include the U.S. Space Force, U.K. air force, Swarm Technologies, Denmark's GomSpace and Italy's SITAEL.

Virgin Orbit is developing and integrating its rockets at its manufacturing facility in Long Beach, California.

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