back to article Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket deploys seven satellites with third successful mission

Virgin Orbit has managed a third successful mission as the company deployed seven satellites into orbit from its LauncherOne rocket. Describing itself as "the responsive launch and space solutions company," Virgin Orbit achieved two missions last year. Yesterday's launch was just a few days shy of the company's first …

  1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    A new market

    The options of getting small, inexpensive satellites into LEO is hotting up. Nice to see the growth in a variety of launch providers. SpaceX is clearly the leader, but another new entrant in Astra got into orbit the other month. With this increasing number of options of getting into orbit bodes well for a rapid growth with its associated innovation.

    It will be interesting to see what this leads to. A new industry in the making; all very fascinating. Bravo to all these successful players. Have a pint obviously (hey, there's no crown on that glass).

  2. Lorribot

    Red tape and paperwork

    stopping things from happening, how long can it take to read some documents and go"hell yeah that looks ok go for it?"

    Appreciate these things need to be done properly but really, what are we paying them to do have garden parties?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Red tape and paperwork

      I've been waiting for a radio licence from the Polish authorities for 6 months now. A related Spanish licence has been pending confirmation for so long that it has almost expired.

      Government bureaucracy knows no bounds.

      China is winning because of these people.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Red tape and paperwork

        El Reg, after YEARS, is still waiting for launch permission in the US!

    2. Dabooka

      Re: Red tape and paperwork

      Not sure why the down votes, and you would think the current powers that be would be desperate to flag wave about a 'space launch' from Blighty.

  3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    I wonder

    I seriously wonder how Branson is going to recuperate the $2billion development costs if each flight only nets him a couple $ in profit.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      NFTs a Virgin crypto-coin and a lot of Tesla shares ?

  4. spold Silver badge


    and access to a good few trajectories not easily achievable from the surface.


    Such as "down"?

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Think about polar orbits, those are achievable with a surface launch, but require significant amounts of extra fuel to cancel out the normal west to east orbit and achieve a polar orbit.

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Dunno what

    the problem is...

    Take off from somewhere with a runway capable of supporting a 747, fly southwest for a couple of hours and launch from mid-atlantic... then fly home

    But then its the old joke about the US airforce needing a new bunker buster bomb during the 1st gulf war, the techs/boffins designed/built/tested it in about 2 weeks and then it took another 6 months to fill out the paperwork...

    Should have just trained the bureaucrats in arabic and dropped them into Bagdad.... Saddam's war machine would have ground to a halt within seconds....

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Dunno what

      To be fair that bomb you speak of was basically an old artillery barrel, with the guidance and control fins added from the existing Paveway series equipment. Equipment itself designed to be attached to old dumb bombs. A few tweaks to software and literally, boom.

      But yes, the bureaucrats all want their cut. New and shiny thing to tax.

      The UK would be better off independent of Westminster.

    2. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Dunno what

      "Take off from somewhere with a runway capable of supporting a 747"

      ...and performing pre-flight prep for a liquid-fuelled rocket and its payload, and potentially having a suitable area nearby to perform an emergency jettisoning of said rocket if something goes awry during the early stages of the flight. Methinks it's not *quite* as simple as merely finding a 747-capable airstrip...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dunno what

      > "Take off from somewhere with a runway capable of supporting a 747, fly southwest for a couple of hours and launch from mid-atlantic... then fly home"

      Casablanca, light touch, or at least light to touch, regulations, job done.

  6. John 62

    Presumably they're just using a 747 because it's a relatively cheap way to heft a large payload and they'll be able to fit the launch platform to another aircraft if the 747 gets too old.

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