Virgin Orbit Completes Captive Carry Test Flight for LauncherOne Written 13 April 2020


LauncherOne is designed to be launched from this former Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747, named Cosmic Girl. | Eric Salard - G-VWOW; Wikipedia; CC BY-SA 2.0

Space News reports that Virgin Orbit “completed a captive carry test flight of its LauncherOne system April 12, the final major milestone before the company performs its first orbital launch attempt.” The company’s “modified Boeing 747 aircraft, with a LauncherOne rocket attached to its left wing, took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California at 2:23 p.m. Eastern.” Virgin Orbit “had performed captive carry test flights in the past, but this was the first with a flight version of LauncherOne, filled with RP-1 fuel and liquid nitrogen, attached. During the flight, the plane tested the launch release maneuver, where the plane pulls up sharply after releasing the rocket.
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