Virgin Orbit Successful Launches seven Satellites

Eliza | 08 - 05 - 2021

You might have seen an airplane carrying another small airplane in the news or your social media feed. But do you know what it’s called? It’s called air launch. And it’s actually not a small airplane, it’s a rocket. Air launch is the process of releasing a rocket, parasite aircraft, missile, or any other aircraft payload from a mother ship or launch aircraft. 

Air Launch to Orbit

Air launch to orbit is the same process as that of air launch. Air launch to orbit is the process of launching a space rocket from a carrier aircraft. Nano or micro-satellites are launched as secondary loads from the vehicle payload section with a large primary satellite. The important phase in the air launch to orbit is the separation between the carrier aircraft and the space rocket. The main advantage of air launch to orbit is that the rocket need not fly in a low or dense atmosphere. It also has an additional benefit that it needs reduced delta-V to achieve orbit. But how does a rocket launch? Air launch to orbit works as a part of a combination launch system such as a reusable air-launched single stage. A single-stage rocket uses a single motor or a cluster of motors to lift the payload to the desired altitude. 

Virgin Orbit Launch- When a Spaceship is Fired into Orbit?

Virgin Orbit is a company that provides the launch services of small satellites. The company’s LauncherOne successfully reached orbit on January 17, 2021. Recently, Virgin Orbit launched 7 seven satellites from three different countries in its modified Boeing 747. The name of the carrier plane Boeing 747 is Cosmic Girl and it launched from Southern California. The Cosmic Girl carried a 70-foot rocket beneath its left-wing and it traveled 400 miles per hour and headed out to the Pacific Ocean. The rocket separated from the Cosmic Girl at an elevation of more than 300,000 feet above the surface. The successful mission of Virgin Orbit was named Tubular Bells: Part One. It was named after the first album released by Richard Branson’s company Virgin Records in 1973. This is the third launch for Virgin Orbit; it already made demonstration missions in May 2020 and January 2021. Virgin Orbit can put the satellites into orbit in a short time compared to the traditional methods. Nearly two hours later the Virgin Orbit launch confirmed the reach of seven payloads into orbit. Virgin Orbit also aims to conduct another launch this year and six missions in 2022. 

What Is the Name of Virgin Orbit’s Carrier Plane?
  • A. Cosmic Girl
  • B. Boeing f2b
  • C. Chinook
  • D. Growler
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