After suffering two consecutive delays, Virgin Orbit established the Launch Demo 2 for next Sunday (17), its second attempt to enter into orbit with its LauncherOne rocket. The launch, now scheduled between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Brasília time, should have been carried out on the 13th, but the mission went through a review, not yet explained by the company.
If all goes as planned, the Cosmic Girl aircraft carrier will take off from California’s Space and Air Port of Mojave, California, carrying the LauncherOne under one wing. Upon reaching an altitude of 10,700 meters, LauncherOne will detach itself and fall freely to start its flight to Earth orbit, driven by its own engine.
In the test carried out last year, LauncherOne reached the space limit for the first time in the company’s history, however, the mission had to be aborted when the plane was close to orbit, due to the rupture of a propellant line, which occurred shortly after the beginning of the burning of the first stage.
In a tweet released yesterday (12), Virgin Orbit guarantees that “our analysis of readiness for launch is complete, our hardware is great and our customers are ready”. And it confirms the launch for Sunday, January 17th, “with additional windows in January, if necessary”.
If you want to follow the progress of Virgin Orbit’s mission, just follow the company’s Twitter feed.