Virgin Orbit is preparing to make the first air launch from the UK. This can happen as early as January 9th. Although it is quite possible to postpone the launch to the 18th of this month.
Maritime Air Launch Warning
On January 4, the UK Maritime Navigation Service sent a warning that a certain area of the sea on January 9 and 18 could be dangerous for navigation. It corresponds to the area where Virgin Orbit plans to launch rockets from its Space Girl carrier aircraft.
The company confirmed that this warning is indeed related to their subsequent launches. Virgin Orbit is actively preparing its aircraft for launch from the Cornwall Cosmodrome. However, they cannot name its exact date yet.
At the same time, the Navigation Service of Ireland also pointed out the danger in the area of a possible launch. They note that it will be stored not only on January 9 and 18, but also on the 13th, 15th, 19th and 20th. Obviously, these dates are also reserved for a possible launch.
Virgin Orbit’s First European Launch
Last year, Virgin Orbit already made several air launches from the United States. But their main goal is still the mission from the territory of Great Britain. In 2023, this country is seriously going to become the main launch pad of Europe.
The company expected to carry out the first launch from the Cornwall cosmodrome back in August. However, all permits for this were obtained only on December 21. At the same time, Virgin Orbit specialists admitted that bureaucratic obstacles were not the only reason for the delay.
The company also has obvious technical problems, but it has clearly been able to overcome them. In any case, by the end of January, the Start Me Up mission should take place. Within its framework, as many as 7 spacecraft should be put into orbit.
According to spacenews.com
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