First UK satellite launch fails

On January 9, 2023, a Virgin Orbit Boeing 747 launched the LauncherOne rocket, with nine satellites under its fairing. But the ship failed to reach orbit.

Things had started well on January 9 for this first space mission on British soil, carried out under the quadruple banner of the British Space Agency (UKSA), the Cornwall Council, the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Virgin. Orbit. Shortly after 10pm (11pm in France), Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl” takes off from Cornwall Spaceport in Newquay, Cornwall. Under its wing, a small 17 m rocket, LauncherOne, responsible for launching nine small satellites into orbit. The Launcher One rocket hangs under the wing of Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747. © Virgin Orbit Airdrop in South West Ireland Planned for summer 2022, the mission has finally received clearance to fly from British Civil Aviation.

Things had started well on January 9 for this first space mission on British soil, carried out under the quadruple banner of the British Space Agency (UKSA), the Cornwall Council, the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Virgin. Orbit. Shortly after 10pm (11pm in France), Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl” takes off from Cornwall Spaceport in Newquay, Cornwall. Under its wing, a small 17 m rocket, LauncherOne, responsible for launching nine small satellites into orbit.

The Launcher One rocket hangs under the wing of Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747. © Virgin Orbit airdrop at South West Ireland Planned for summer 2022, the mission finally received clearance to fly from British Civil Aviation.

Dennis Alvarado

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