Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB)’s launch system is in place at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The dress rehearsals are complete and the company remains on track for their upcoming Straight Up mission, with a launch window opening on June 29th at 10:00 p.m., PDT.
The launch will support the United States Space Force’ (USSF)s STP-S28A mission and carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program (STP). The target orbit for Straight Up is approximately 500 km. above the Earth’s surface at a 45-degree inclination. Virgin Orbit is the first company to achieve this feat from California through the firm’s Above the Clouds launch that was completed earlier this year.
The USSF will launch seven (7) satellites provided by multiple government agencies that will conduct experiments in space-based communications, in-space navigation as well as climate change. U.S. Space Force has procured this launch for the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP), with payloads provided by the aforementioned DoD Space Test Program (STP).
As of this writing, Tyler Grinnell, Vice President of Test, Flight and Launch for Virgin Orbit, advises that everything is going according to plan and remains on schedule in preparation for the company’s fourth mission. He said, “Our hardware is in top-notch condition, and the team is performing exceptionally, as we prepare for our first night-time launch,” Grinnell said. “The perspective we’ve gained from each previous launch is really paying off now. Our crews in the sky and on the ground are ready to further our mission of getting our customers’ satellites precisely where they need to go.”
Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) operates one of the most flexible and responsive space launch systems ever built. Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, the company began commercial service in 2021, and has already delivered commercial, civil, national security, and international satellites into orbit. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and are air-launched from a modified 747-400 carrier aircraft that allows Virgin Orbit to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs.