A Virgin Orbit rocket bearing seven U.S. Defense Department satellites was launched from a special Boeing 747 that took off from the Southern California coast and dashed toward space Friday night.
The transformed large airliner set out from Mojave Air and Space Port in the Mojave Desert and set free the rocket over the Pacific Ocean, northwest of Los Angeles.
The U.S Space Force persuaded the launch of a Defense Department test program. The seven satellites will carry out several experiments.
“And there we have it, folks!” the company’s note on Twitter read, just before 1 a.m. local time, about an hour after the rocket separated from the Boeing. “NewtonFour successfully reignited and deployed all customer spacecraft into their target orbit.”
This was the fourth commercial launch of Virgin Orbit and its first night launch. The launch was to take place on Wednesday night, but could not happen due to a temperature issue.
Richard Branson, a British billionaire founded Virgin Orbit in 2017. Its headquarters are in Long Beach, California, and presently carries out launches from the Mojave airport but is thinking of going international
Towards the end of 2022, the company will launch two satellites, flying out of Newquay Airport in Cornwall, England, to conduct radio signal monitoring tests.