Virgin Orbit launched a rocket carrying seven satellites from California’s Mojave Air and House Port early Saturday morning at 1:49 AM ET (10:49PM native), marking the small satellite tv for pc launcher’s first profitable evening mission. The corporate introduced the satellites into low Earth orbit with the assistance of its Boeing 747 provider plane referred to as Cosmic Lady, which had the LauncherOne rocket connected beneath one in all its wings.

The mission, referred to as Straight Up after a 1988 Paula Abdul music, concerned seven analysis satellites as a part of NASA’s House Check Program. Like its earlier missions, Virgin Orbit propelled the satellites into area by having Cosmic Lady carry the LauncherOne rocket 35,000 toes above the bottom, giving it a headstart earlier than the rocket detaches and launches its payload into orbit. Virgin Orbit initially postponed the mission on Thursday after discovering that its rocket propellant temperature was “barely out of bounds.”

Virgin Orbit has made 5 launch makes an attempt in whole, however solely failed as soon as throughout its first take a look at flight in Could 2020. It has been on a roll since first reaching orbit in January 2021, deploying a set of satellites into orbit in June 2021 and finishing yet one more mission earlier this 12 months. Virgin Orbit’s Straight Up mission is the corporate’s fourth profitable flight to this point.

Virgin Orbit is owned by the British billionaire Richard Branson, and isn’t to be confused with Virgin Galactic, the corporate’s separate department for business spaceflight. The firm went public by way of a SPAC (particular objective acquisition firm) merger final 12 months. Whereas it has accomplished all its launches from Southern California to date, Virgin Orbit plans on taking off from Cornwall, England later this 12 months.

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