All Set for Virgin Orbit’s First Launch15th May 2020
Virgin Orbit is set for its first space launch as early as this month. This would bring to a conclusion a small satellite project that started eight years ago, and the launch would be across the Pacific Ocean in the southern region of LA.
The Rocket Testing and its Capabilities
Virgin Orbit reached the final stage of testing the launch about a week ago. This was completed with the ground test of the LauncherOne rocket after the CEO stated that they are now ready for a first rocket demonstration.
Virgin Orbit designed the LauncherOne rocket able to compete against other launchers like Electron created by Rocket Lab. The LauncherOne is said to accommodate 300 kg payload to a distance of 500 km.
Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne Cryogenic Captive Carry Test
On April 12, the LauncherOne was tested for a captive carry. The test covered the Boeing 747 that served as the carrier jet, the ability of the launch vehicle, the operations of the ground team, and the rocket’s tracking systems.
Virgin Orbit’s rocket was loaded with pressured gas, liquid nitrogen, and kerosene to meet the temperature requirements of liquid oxygen. The LauncherOne will use the oxygen and the kerosene for the actual launch.
For the real flight of the test launch, a team of four men that included pilot crews and aircraft engineers were in charge of the Boeing 747 jet. Stay tuned for more Virgin Orbit updates.