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BigBear.ai, an artificial intelligence and machine learning company, has entered into a commercial software agreement with Virgin Orbit to support and strengthen the launch services company’s capability with AI-powered, space-based data insights in support of the U.S. government, commercial clients and international defense. BigBear.ai said Friday it has already begun utilizing its Decision Dominance platform […] More
Mike Rokaw, vice president of operations at Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space subsidiary, said the parent company expects to submit bids for the U.S. Space Force’s future ‘tactically responsive launch’ contracts, which require launch providers to send satellites to orbit on short notice, SpaceNews reported Thursday. “We think we bring to the table a good economic […] More
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 […] More
Virgin Orbit has completed the Federal Aviation Administration’s final environmental assessment that found that licensing the company’s LauncherOne rocket operations from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam “would not significantly affect” the environment quality. According to the Aug. 27 notice, the proposed action from the agency is to provide Virgin Orbit with a launch operator’s […] More
Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket deployed four Department of Defense satellites into low-Earth orbit on Wednesday as part of a rideshare mission, C4ISRNET reported Thursday. The company’s carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California and released LauncherOne in midair to enable the rocket to deliver the cubesat payloads into […] More

Virgin Orbit announced on Thursday that its LauncherOne rocket is fully assembled and will soon be shipped to Mojave Air and Space Port in California for pre-launch operations. The rocket’s upcoming mission is called Tubular Bells, Part One, which will launch CubeSat satellites for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Royal Netherlands Air Force, as well as two optical satellites for SatRevolution. The launch is scheduled for June of this year. 

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Virgin Orbit has demonstrated prelaunch and flight procedures for a rocket the company designed to help customers bring small satellites into orbit. LauncherOne's booster engine lighted on cue after the vehicle launched from a Cosmic Girl carrier aircraft during the initial demonstration off the California coast above the Pacific Ocean.

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