Virgin Orbit Says First LauncherOne Flight Failed to Reach Orbit After Propellant Line Broke In Engine Written 23 July 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 the “first flight of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket failed to reach orbit in May when a propellant line broke seconds after the ignition of the rocket’s first stage engine, the company’s chief executive said” Wednesday. During a Space Generation Advisory Council webinar, CEO Dan Hart “said the demonstration mission for the LauncherOne rocket May 25 went well until several seconds after the ignition of the NewtonThree engine that powers the rocket’s first stage.” After “release of LauncherOne from the company’s modified Boeing 747, Hart said data from the rocket verified the company’s aerodynamic modeling of how it handles, particularly as it transitioned from the turbulent airflow around the aircraft to the smoother flow beneath it.” Hart said, “We’ll be targeting our next flight before the end of the year.”
Full Story (Space News)