back to article Virgin Orbit at last ready to live up to its name: Branson's other space adventure set for maiden flight this weekend

Virgin Orbit is set to fling a first payload to orbit with its Boeing 747-mounted LauncherOne. The first launch opportunity will come on Sunday 24 May, with another the following day. The window for dropping LauncherOne is substantial: from 17:00 to 21:00 GMT. It has been a while coming. By the company's own estimates it has …

  1. JimboSmith Silver badge

    These are the voyages of....

    I'm sure the staff at who are being laid off by another of the bearded wonder's companies, Virgin Atlantic, will be especially pleased to hear this. Was there any comment from him on his private Caribbean Island?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: These are the voyages of....

      . Was there any comment from him on his private Caribbean Island?

      So it's not an island with a dead volcanoe? Won't someone think of the cat?

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Go

        Re: These are the voyages of....

        No volcano I am afraid, but I think Sir Richard's island has a flame-throwing tank disguised as a dragon.

  2. Mike Richards

    'We note in the company's press kit that its founder, beard aficionado Sir Richard Branson, is described as an "adventure" – which is also an apt term for a journey on one of his trains. '

    Beardie doesn't operate trains any more - we've decided the Italians should have a go at running the West Coast; presumably someone in the DoT heard the aphorism about Mussolini getting the trains to run on time and thought that was good enough.

    He's still leaching off the taxpayer though - right now trying to get Cornwall County Council to stop funding fripperies such as schools and public transport so money can be siphoned into his spaceport in Newquay.

  3. Swiss Anton

    ....does not require the infrastructure needed by vertically launched rockets

    But it does need a 10000ft runway for the 747, a trained crew to fly it, and someone to serve them fish ...

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: ....does not require the infrastructure needed by vertically launched rockets

      The fish might be a bad idea.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: ....does not require the infrastructure needed by vertically launched rockets

      But it does need a 10000ft runway for the 747, a trained crew to fly it, and someone to serve them fish ...

      The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: ....does not require the infrastructure needed by vertically launched rockets

        Is there a problem? What is it?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOmD-xqK2Es

  4. Mintyboy
    Flame

    Branson ???

    "This launch is different from all of our other flights in that it's really about the rocket, not about the payload."

    Crosses fingers he IS the payload

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    All very British

    Considering this is basically a American company, probably staffed almost entirely by Americans, this all sounds very typically self-effacingly British. Hey, we built this thing, it might work, it might not, but we'll give a jolly good try and if it doesn't work, well hey ho, we'll have another go. We've even got a spare rocket in the hanger just in case. (Although that last, spending real money on a plan B is a bit more American than the more typically British shoe-string, garden shed budget.)

    Still, I wish them luck. The more the merrier.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: All very British

      It only becomes a British company when it starts to fail and needs a bail out.

      Until then it will most likely remain a US / British Virgin Islands company.

  6. William Higinbotham

    Other counties nuclear readiness alert.

    I sent a question off to the company as to how they are reporting the launches to other nations so that they will not think we are delivering a first strike:-)

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