Take a look at Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne as you’ve never seen it before…
During a recent captive carry flight test the team took some new footage of the satellite launcher. The video reveals a brand new perspective of LauncherOne from Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 flying launchpad, Cosmic Girl. You even get an incredible view as Cosmic Girl soars.
This flight was all about testing the high-G manoeuvres that Virgin Orbit pilots will have to make on flights to space, including the launch release manoeuvre. This manoeuvre sees Cosmic Girl pointed skyward at approximately a 30-degree pitch attitude before LauncherOne will be released. LauncherOne then falls for about five seconds before the rocket ignites as Cosmic Girl banks to the right to recover from the manoeuvre.
This was the second time that Cosmic Girl had flown with a heavy rocket, although it was not filled with propellant. Instead, Virgin Orbit filled Launcher One with water and other inert substances to simulate its weight when fully fueled so pilots can learn what it is like to fly with a heavy rocket under the wing of the adapted Boeing 747.
After the success of this test, Virgin Orbit is now closer than ever to launching small satellites into orbit and will be continuing with more tests very soon. Find out more on the Virgin Orbit website.