The modified 737 aircraft took off on June 30, 2021, carrying a LauncherOne rocket from the Cosmic Girl Mojave Air-Space Port in California.
Sir Richard Branson’s private Virgin Orbit space company launched its second successful satellite mission on Wednesday this year, CEO Dan Hart told Acesparks, adding that the company is currently focused on expanding and expanding operations on a global scale.
“We have a very good trajectory to make another flight this year, then double that figure, make six flights next year, and then multiply from there,” Hart said.
Virgin Orbit uses a modified Boeing 747 as a platform to launch its missiles, unlike other companies. Wednesday’s launch – which took off from the California desert and flew into space over the Pacific Ocean – was the company’s first commercial launch as the previous two launches were demonstration missions.
The company is currently flying from Mojave Aerospace in California and has agreements to fly from Guam and Cornwall in the UK. Virgin Orbit is also working on agreements with “other countries,” Hart said, including Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
“We can turn any airport into a spaceport,” Hart said.
Virgin Orbit’s approach to launching rockets is “completely and absolutely unique,” compared to its surface-to-air missile competitors, Branson said. The company is able to respond to a customer’s request for commissioning within 24 hours, which Branson said is a need he has talked to military leaders in the U.S., the UK and Canada.
“If countries want to store missiles for crises in the world, we just create opportunities and that’s what we do,” Branson said.
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