Virgin Orbit and the Southwest Research Institute have partnered to look into combining the former’s LauncherOne rocket and the latter’s space mission development expertise to potentially pursue specialized mission opportunities.
The partnership is exploring opportunities in joint SwRI platform manufacturing and services delivery to Virgin Orbit clients, and considering stewardship programs focused on the use of space data in weather and environmental monitoring, the launch company said Thursday.
Virgin Orbit and SwRI will also assess the possibility of developing and launching space missions to expand service offerings to customers.
“We’re especially looking forward to combining our uniquely responsive air launch capabilities with SwRI’s broad spacecraft expertise to provide turnkey solutions for our most pressing environmental challenges,” said Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit.
SwRI is an independent, non-profit research and development organization that serves several market segments, including earth and space, electronics and automation, energy and environment, defense and security as well as manufacturing and construction.