Virgin Orbit Signs Agreement with SatRevolution for a New LauncherOne Mission19th Feb 2021
Virgin Orbit signed a deal for a new LauncherOne mission with SatRevolution. The latter is a NewSpace satellite company with headquarters in Wroclaw, Poland. Based on this agreement, Virgin Orbit will deploy two of the company’s satellites, STORK-4 and STORK-5, aka MARTA, into orbit.
Newest Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Mission for SatRevolution
SatRevolution is working on a satellite constellation for Earth observation and monitoring. The total number of satellites in this constellation should reach 14, and the LauncherOne mission has a significant role to play in that. The peculiarity of this mission is that STORK-4 and MARTA are the first optical satellites developed by SatRevolution. Both are based on the UniBus 3U CubeSat platform, designed and developed by the Polish company.
When STORK-4 and MARTA are deployed, they will provide multispectral medium-resolution imagery for commercial agriculture in Poland, the United States, and other countries. One of the critical steps of this mission is to test responsive launch service. The main idea behind this LauncherOne mission, as well as all the following ones, is to provide rapid and flexible launch solutions. Virgin Orbit is working on fine-tuning their responsive launch tech to make sure launch providers and end-clients get a chance to closely work together and make a small satellite launch at short notice possible.
The latest LauncherOne mission agreement is the logical continuation of the collaboration between Virgin Orbit and SatRevolution. In 2019, these two companies initiated a consortium that should help develop commercial small satellite launch missions to Mars. Around a dozen other companies and top technical universities in Poland joined this initiative. Polish Mars Consortium heavily relies on Virgin Orbit and its LauncherOne mission capabilities.
As for the upcoming mission to test responsive launch technology, both companies’ CEO, Dan Hart for Virgin Orbit and Grzegorz Zwolinski for SatRevolution, are very optimistic about the collaboration opportunity. The scheduled Virgin Orbit LauncherOne mission should become the first in a series of successful missions by Poland and the United States.