Cornwall Spaceport Will Host a Virgin Orbit Launch in Summer 202231st Mar 2022
On 9th March, California-based company owned by British billionaire Richard Branson announced they are making the first Virgin Orbit launch from Cornwall Spaceport in summer 2022. The commercial mission will carry a satellite from a Welsh company, Space Forge. While Virgin Orbit already has three successful missions in its portfolio, the first mission from a British spaceport will mark an important milestone in the space history of the UK and the US-UK space relations.
Space Forge CEO on Upcoming Virgin Orbit Launch
Space Forge CEO Joshua Western is thrilled to soon be making history with the first-ever domestic satellite launch. Besides an upcoming Virgin Orbit launch, Space Forge is also working on a new manufacturing facility for bringing space-made products back to Earth. According to Western, Virgin Orbit and Cornwall Spaceport will have a role to play in this project as well as both parties share similar space ambitions.
Virgin Orbit and Its Collaboration with Cornwall Spaceport
Both Virgin Orbit and Virgin Galactic are owned by British billionaire Richard Branson. Still, unlike Virgin Galactic, dealing with space tourism flights, Virgin Orbit specialised in small and medium-weight satellite delivery. Virgin Orbit launch technology is horizontal, meaning that it uses a modified Boeing-747 plane, nicknamed CosmicGirl, to lift the LauncherOne carrier into the air. Once the necessary altitude is reached (35,00 feet), LauncherOne detaches from CosmicGirl’s wing and sends payload into calculated orbits.
As of now, Virgin Orbit has already carried out three successful missions and is now getting ready for the fourth one from UK soil – its owner’s homeland. If Virgin Orbit launch from Cornwall Spaceport is successful, the event will mark an important milestone in UK history, making it an independent space fairing nation.