VIR­GIN OR­BIT MATES ROCKET TO JET FOR AIR­BORNE LAUNCH SYS­TEM

Apple Magazine - - Summary -

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia-based Vir­gin Or­bit has reached a mile­stone in de­vel­op­ing its air­borne or­bital launch sys­tem.

The com­pany says this week it mated a LauncherOne rocket to a spe­cial Boe­ing 747 at Long Beach Air­port and will soon be­gin a series of flights that will cul­mi­nate with a drop test in which the booster will be re­leased from be­neath the jet’s left wing.

The sys­tem is in­tended to carry small satel­lites into or­bit.

Vir­gin Or­bit is a sis­ter com­pany of Vir­gin Ga­lac­tic, which is de­vel­op­ing an air-launched rocket plane for car­ry­ing tourists on sub­or­bital flights into space.

Vir­gin Or­bit said it al­ready has hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars worth of launches on con­tract for a wide range of cus­tomers in­clud­ing NASA and the U.S. De­fense Depart­ment.

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