Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit Will Launch Arqit’s Quantum Satellites28th May 2021
Virgin Orbit, an aerospace company, owned by Richard Branson, should launch two satellites to LEO for a UK-based company Arqit Limited. Arqit has picked Virgin as its launch provider on 12th May 2021, but the actual launches are scheduled for early 2023.
Arqit’s Reasons for Choosing Virgin Orbit as a Launch Provider
Arqit’s primary reason for choosing Virgin Orbit as its launch provider is the company’s cost-effective air-launch technology. Besides affordability, horizontal launch offers flexible schedules and short preparation timeframes – something very few vertical launch providers can offer.
The initial program includes launching two Arqit’s satellites, but the companies are already discussing a follow-up plan for more launches. Arqit, with its innovative technology, is looking to target government clients. If the collaboration between Virgin Orbit and Arqit keeps going, further launches may take place from the UK spaceport Cornwall at Newquay – a facility that supports horizontal launch technology practiced by Virgin.
If the relationship between these two companies continues even further, Virgin will be ready to invest $5 million into Arqit’s fundraising round to get the innovative developer to the stock market.
Arqit & Its Revolutionary Payload
Arqit has created a unique encryption technology called QuantumCloud. Unlike today’s encryption tech, it offers unprecedented protection from any hacking attempts, including those from quantum computers. This breakthrough is one of the main reasons Arqit is very optimistic about attracting government clients.
Right now, the company uses terrestrial communications systems to deliver its encryption keys. However, satellite incorporation will make protection protocols even more secure. The satellites will use the quantum protocol and share it with Arqit’s ground stations. And that is exactly where Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, with its affordable and highly flexible launch technology, comes in.