Foronda Airport Set to Host Virgin Orbit’s Launcher 1 in Upcoming Mission

25th May 2021
Foronda Airport Set to Host Virgin Orbit’s Launcher 1 in Upcoming Mission

For the next few years, a couple of missions will take off from the Foronda launch site. This is according to the Basque government. Among the ambitious projects is investing more than 42 million Euros to make the site lucrative.

If all goes well, the Foronda airport will witness lots of smallsat launches by the company. Moreover, there are plans to develop an orbital vehicle to deliver satellites to specific locations in a lower orbit.

Virgin Orbit is part of the larger Virgin group. Its Launcher 1 rocket involves launching lots of small satellites into orbit. A mission is set for June when the company will conduct its first event in Brazil.

The mission will carry Department of Defense satellites for the US and some for the Netherlands Armed Forces. Additionally, part of the payload will be a commercial satellite for a Polish company.

Start of Virgin Orbit and Launcher 1

The company was formed in 2017 to pursue Virgin’s owner space ambitions. It started developing the Launcher 1 rocket. Cosmic Girl, the adapted Boeing 747 airplane, is involved in the project to carry the rocket for air-release. It prefers this method rather than conducting vertical launches. It’s better since the mission doesn’t feel the limit of launch sites. For instance, the Boeing 747 will take off from the Foronda airport during the mission.

Once Foronda becomes part of the project, the Alava terminal can host such an event. However, the chances of this taking place before 2026 are not very high. That gives Virgin Orbit ample time to plan and conduct regular tests before the official day.

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