Watch Virgin Orbit launch its first commercial mission

Watch Virgin Orbit launch its first commercial mission

Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Virgin Orbit is gearing up for its debut commercial mission from Southern California, five months after the company first reached orbit during a January test flight. Seven satellites from three different countries are loaded onto a rocket that will blast off in midair from Virgin Orbit’s modified Boeing 747 less than an hour after the plane departs the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Take off of the carrier aircraft, the modified Boeing plane named Cosmic Girl, is expected for 9:50AM ET. About an hour later, a 70-foot-long two-stage rocket called LauncherOne will ignite its single engine and take off from under the plane’s left wing over the Pacific ocean, zooming out of Earth’s atmosphere. The Netherlands’ first military satellite, three…

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