Virgin Orbit Fail on the First Attempt

Virgin Orbit Fail on the First Attempt

Now it is not unusual for the first attempt of any rocket launch to fail, In fact, Virgin orbit themselves said that the chances of success of their first launch were “50/50”

So let us take a look at what their platform looks like and what happened when go time came.

The Virgin orbit is the second commercial rocket system that is designed to take off from a horizontal launch position under the wing of a plane.

Cosmic Girl is a converted Boeing 747 pane that was originally part of the virgin passenger fleet but after it came to the end of its serviceable life as a passenger plane was sold to Virgin Orbit.

The cosmic girl was special because it was originally designed to carry a spare engine around the globe to help maintenance and servicing of the rest of the fleet.

747 Carrying a Spare Jet Engine

At the end of the life of the fleet, this special plane was sold to Virgin Orbit. and with some very careful tweaks is now the perfect place to mount their first rocket LauncherOne.

LauncherOne is liquid-fueled rocket that is designed to launch a 300 kilograms payload to about 310 miles Sun-synchronous orbit, suitable for Cube Sats and other small payloads.

this was the very first attempt at launch and history has proven time and time again that launching a rocket is hard, with first time with success rates being low

LauncherOne Sensor data from their first launch attempt shows that everything was fine all the way until just 9 seconds after the rocket was dropped when the first stage engine failed and the launch was aborted.

Virgins Orbits safety protocol stood the up to the test and the rocket jettisoned its fuel, and the rocket fell into the sea, and that was the end of the first attempt.. for now

Virgin Orbit can take some real positives from this first attempt as it appears that many fundamental aspects of the platform worked flawlessly from ground-based equipment, electronics and tracking through to the launch plane.

Virgin have six more rockets mostly ready to hit the launch pad but I am sure they will take some time to analyse the data and address their issues before making another launch attempt.

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