Video: Watch Virgin Orbit Successfully Fly Its 747 Satellite Launcher

Nov 23, 2018

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The words “Virgin” and “space” have become synonymous. One way or another, Sir Richard Branson is going to roll out the red carpet for humans to more easily visit the next frontier. Virgin Orbit, sister company to Virgin Galactic, has a slightly different mission. It’s looking to fly small satellites to space using a retrofitted Boeing 747 as the launchpad. Because, you know, launching satellites from a stationary platform on Earth is just too easy.

Earlier this week, a “specially modified 747-400 carrying a 70-foot-long rocket under its wing soared through the air as part of a successful test flight for Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne.” Nicknamed Cosmic Girl, the former passenger airliner conducted a faultless test flight above Victorville, CA, which is big news for clients hoping to utilize the service in early 2019. The flight lasted 80 minutes in total, during which Virgin Orbit’s flight crew assessed the take-off, landing and low-speed handling and performance of the integrated system.

Virgin Orbit claims that its flying launchpad will enable you “to take full control of your satellite’s journey to space,” skipping long lines at spaceports and providing a more affordable way to get a satellite into orbit.

Feast your eyes on the test flight above, and if you’re looking to actually step foot onto a retired 747 without paying Virgin Orbit a small fortune to launch a satellite, consider a visit to the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta (ATL).

Featured image courtesy of Virgin Orbit

H/T: TechCrunch

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