Virgin Orbit Launch Planned to go Ahead Before the End of 2020

11th Dec 2020
Virgin Orbit's Launcher one

NASA is sending new CubeSats to space in December and will use the second LauncherOne mission to accomplish this goal. The Virgin Orbit launch will occur during a 4 hour open window period, regardless of objections from the US coast guard. 

In November, the US coast guard sent out a notice to all mariners of this intended launch by Virgin Orbit. It stated that the second LauncherOne mission was dangerous to the surrounding environment. Even though there’s no explicit notice of the launch, the company used a similar notice for a previous attempt early this year. 

The previous Virgin Orbit launch also had a similar window to launch, even though it didn’t pull through. There’s no set date for the launch, and not much more is known. 

Second LauncherOne Mission set to Take Place in California

The Virgin Orbit launch has been confirmed to happen, even though the company has opted not to release a launch date yet. Shipping for the LauncherOne from Long Beach was successful as it gears up for the upcoming mission before the year is over. After its shipping, it was mounted to an aircraft back in November by company technicians. 

Early in the year, we saw the first Launcher mission fail as the engine shut down after ignition. All this was due to failure by a liquid propellant in the engine leading to mission failure. There were high expectations for that project as all tests had shown there was no reason to expect any issues. 

Now the launch is set for another opportunity, and is now going to be carrying a crucial payload for NASA. This is different from the previous operation that didn’t have any payload to deploy. 

Currently, Virgin Orbit is among several others that will launch its spacecraft before the end of the year. Astra and Firefly Aerospace also have crucial projects in place, and Rocket Lab has also joined the list to launch before 31st December. However, for the Virgin Orbit launch, this second LauncherOne mission is a chance to try once more to achieve its set goal despite the previous failures earlier in the year. 

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