Virgin Orbit has today revealed the first full images of their rocket, ‘LauncherOne’. LauncherOne will be strapped to the bottom of a specially converted Virgin Atlantic plane named ‘Cosmic Girl’ and flown to 30,000 feet where LauncherOne will detach and its thrusters will engage taking the rocket into space. LauncherOne was ‘mated’ with Cosmic Girl for the first time at the Virgin Orbit base in Long Beach, California. LauncherOne, at 70feet long, is the length of two London buses, and will travel at astonishing speeds of over 20x the speed of sound (17,500mph)
The rocket weighs 57,000 pounds or 25,800kg which is the equivalent to 25 small family cars
LauncherOne’s payload will carry satellites which could be as small as a loaf of bread or as large as a household refrigerator. The satellites will deliver everything from internet, in even the most remote regions, to advanced weather tracking systems to help in the battle against climate change.
The rocket is ‘mated’ with a converted Virgin Atlantic plane ‘Cosmic Girl’, which will carry the rocket to an altitude of 30,000+feet before the rocket engages its thrusters taking it to outer space.