back to article Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up

Virgin Orbit, the Richard Branson-founded effort to launch satellites into space from a rocket that drops from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747, has suffered a failure of its first test launch. The company's schtick is that waiting for access to a launch pad is a drag and that plane-carried rockets can therefore get your kit …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge

    To be fair

    It managed to get it up but after launch and ignition it lost control.

    Clearly premature ejaculation.

    1. JDPower

      Re: To be fair

      Premature ejetculation?

      1. Dave Pickles

        Re: To be fair

        Failed to go all the way.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: To be fair

      I blame a lack of thrusting

      1. You aint sin me, roit

        Lack of thrust?

        Or one over-excited thrust?

  2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Just relax...

    Nervousness and excitement can often cause performance issues for V the inexperienced.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Bubba Von Braun

    Got it up but didnt "keep it up"

    Sorry to see another debutante stumble on the first attempt. Maybe a little blue pill is all that's needed to help the beardy ones prodigies keep it up


  4. ClockworkOwl

    CADL (Crash After Drop Launch...)

    Designing and building rockets is really hard work,

    Making them "upgo" as designed is even harder...

    Rocket science is hard, but not as hard as rocket engineering!

    Beer for the cleanup crew>

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    At least they tried

    They are on the steepest part of the learning curve. Getting the first of anything to work is where you find out all the stuff that couldn't be foreseen.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: At least they tried

      They are on the steepest part of the learning curve. Getting the first of anything to work is where you find out all the stuff that couldn't be foreseen.

      Curious if there's been any knowledge sharing. Back in the mid '90s, I watched an FLB (Funny Looking Boeing) take off from Marshalls Aerospace. Wondered if that was to launch a new OhHellfire and compete with Puff, but then read it was to test small satellite launches. ISTR it didn't survive budget cuts, so now Branson's carrying the torch.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. batfink Silver badge

      Re: At least they tried

      Agreed. IMO this was a successful test, in that they found problems - that being the whole objective of testing.

  6. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge


    They didn't even get a chance to attempt re-entry.

    At least it didn't just blow its load (of fuel) all over the cosmic girl...

    Mines the one with the VHS of Barbarella in the pocket.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Don't you mean Moonraker

      Because Bond always attempts re-entry.

  7. s. pam

    Nothing that £500M of UK taxpayer funding cannot fix

    Don't worry dear, Beardie will complete penetration of space with mo' money

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Nothing that £500M of UK taxpayer funding cannot fix

      If the Brits had any concern about space, they'd be initiating their own programme rather than whinging about the satnav...

      [seriously, we're going to get left behind]

  8. macjules Silver badge

    Do Delta know about this?

    I would be a little bit surprised if on my trip across the pond the captain announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, please make sure your seatbelts are fastened. We are just going to launch a satellite. It is one of Mr Branson's little side-ventures."

  9. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Could do better...

    Come on El Reg, the headline should of been

    "Virgin fails to get it up"

    Have you lost access to the double entendre generation server?

  10. WereWoof


    Who ever expected A Virgin to go all the way . . . . . I`ll get my coat

  11. Phil Parker

    *cough* Moonraker into *cough"

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge


      I think he's attempting re-entry Sir!

  12. Brangdon Bronze badge

    Re: get your kit into space with less waiting and from more parts of the world

    Including from Cornwall.

    And it should be noted that Virgin Orbit is a separate company to Virgin Galactic, with more useful goals and a more plausible way of achieving them.

  13. Eclectic Man

    The Register's Special Projects Division

    It is really a shame that the Register's Guinness world record holding team for launching a paper aircraft into space is not here to witness this attempt at launching a rocket into space. He is sadly missed, as is the brave Playmonaut pilot.

    This is really difficult stuff, at least since the USAF shot down a NASA satellite with a missile launched from a jet fighter all those years ago. (Said satellite was testing the exposure to space of various materials, I believe)

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