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Virgin Orbit aims to launch multiple satellites in June

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Posted at 4:21 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 19:21:40-04

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by Richard Branson, is targeting June for its next mission.

The Long Beach, California-based company said Thursday it will launch satellites into orbit for the U.S. Defense Department, the Netherlands’ air force and Poland’s SatRevolution.

Virgin Orbit uses a modified Boeing 747-400 jet to carry its LauncherOne rocket to high altitude, where it is released from beneath a wing and its motor is ignited. The company reached space for the first time on Jan. 17 on its Demo 2 mission.

Virgin Orbit attempted its first demonstration launch in May 2020 but the rocket failed.