The modified Boeing 747 aircraft, codenamed “Cosmic Girl”, will take off from Spaceport Cornwall in southwest England.
Hugh Hastings / Stringer / Getty Images
LONDON – The first orbital rocket launch in Western Europe is due to take place in the UK on Monday evening.
The modified Boeing 747 aircraft, codenamed “Cosmic Girl”, will lift off at 10.16pm local time from Spaceport Cornwall in south-west England, but back-up launch dates have also been set for later this month.
At about 35,000 feet, the virgin orbit The rocket will be deployed over the Atlantic to carry nine small satellites into orbit, in what is known as a horizontal launch.
Launching this way is more cost-efficient than the spectacle of vertical take-off and shows that the UK can be nimble than the US in its space efforts, according to Raphael Sequier, CEO of the British, currently global space industry. Leading in Space startup Open Cosmos.
“It’s a horizontal launch and it gives them a lot of flexibility to target a specific orbit to launch from places where that’s not normally possible. And that’s really what’s giving the UK a lot of this shoddy deployment capability.” effectively,” Sequier told CNBC in an interview in November at the Web Summit tech conference.
The DOVER Pathfinder satellite, which Open Cosmos says was built and designed for engineering group RHEA, will be one of nine satellites aboard the LauncherOne rocket. It is designed to showcase the new navigation capabilities.
Other technologies being sent into space as part of the commercial launch are the first satellite to be launched by Oman, focused on Earth observation, and the first satellite designed and built in Wales, as well as various UK and US government projects. Departments have satellites.
Launching rockets from British soil allows country to “be more responsible than methods” [it’s] “Putting products into space,” Melissa Thorpe, head of Spaceport Cornwall, told the BBC’s “Today” show on Monday.
Crowds are expected to gather to watch the event, with Spaceport Cornwall inviting the general public to witness what they described as a “historic moment”. The designated launch event will also include a “Silent Disco” tent.
Virgin Orbit was near lowered its forecast Three for launch in 2022, with between four and six initially expected to launch in the year.
In announcing its third quarter results for 2022 in November, Virgin Orbit also said it raised $25 million to boost its dwindling cash reserves. The money came from Virgin Group, the wider conglomerate owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, which also includes airline Virgin Atlantic, gym group Virgin Active and financial services company. virgin money,
Virgin Orbit shares traded at a three-week high on Friday at $2.11.
—Michael Sheetz of CNBC contributed to this article.
Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify which companies are behind the DOVER Pathfinder satellite.