Virgin Orbit Formally Establishes New Brazilian Subsidiary and Receives Operator’s License for Launch Operations in Alcântara

The subsidiary and license for launch operations are expected to enable launches from Brazil to space as early as 2023. Operations at Alcântara Space Center closely align with Virgin Orbit’s mission to open space for everyone, from everywhere, as the locale is geographically one of the most advantageous places in the world from which to launch satellites into orbit.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) alongside the Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) is pleased to announce that Virgin Orbit has been formally granted an operator’s license to allow LauncherOne launch operations in Brazil. The license is granted to Virgin Orbit Brasil Ltda. (VOBRA), a newly formed and wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary dedicated to bringing the LauncherOne air-launch rocket system to the Alcântara Launch Center (Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara, CLA).

The formation of the VOBRA entity for dedicated Brazilian space activities is designed to bring an important new capability to the country and economic value to the region. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system, which uses a customized 747 aircraft, Cosmic Girl, as its flying and fully reusable launch pad, will conduct launches from the existing airbase at the Brazilian site, flying hundreds of miles before releasing the rocket directly above the equator — a global sweet spot — or at other optimal locations identified for each individual mission.

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Innospace Unveils Korea’s First Private Test Launch Vehicle ‘Hanbit-TLV’

Hanbit-TLV (Credit: Innospace)

SEJONG, South Korea (Innospace PR) — Innospace has unveiled the first civilian test launch vehicle ‘Hanbit-TLV’ in Korea. The mobile integrated launch system to be used for the actual launch was installed at the Cheongju plant (located in Gangnae-myeon, Heungdeok-gu), and preparations for the launch began in earnest, starting with the operation and standing demonstration of the launch system on May 27.

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ICEYE Successfully Completes its Largest Satellite Launch Ever, Placing Five New SAR Satellites into Orbit

The successful launch further expands the world’s largest SAR satellite constellation and includes the second and third satellites built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US.

HELSINKI, Finland and IRVINE, Calif. (ICEYE PR) — ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring with radar satellite imaging and an expert in flood and natural catastrophe (NatCat) solutions, has successfully launched five new SAR satellites. All spacecraft were launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 smallsat rideshare mission via EXOLAUNCH from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Communication has successfully been established with each spacecraft. ICEYE and ICEYE US have now deployed 21 satellites since 2018, including both commercial and dedicated customer missions.

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Successful Static Test of German/Brazilian S50 Rocket Engine with DLR Participation

S50 solid rocket motor during static burn test in Brazil. (Credit: ©DCTA/IAE)
  • Brazil is working together with DLR on the development of rocket motors and subsystems.
  • The S50 solid rocket motor will form the first two stages of the Brazilian VLM-1 launcher and the first stage of the European VS-50 sounding rocket.
  • The first successful static burn test of an S50 solid rocket engine was carried out in Brazil on October 1, 2021.

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil (DLR PR) — On October 1, 2021, an S50 solid rocket motor successfully passed a static burn test on the Usina Coronel Abner (UCA) premises in São José dos Campos in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. In the future, these solid-fuel motors will power the first two stages of the new Brazilian VLM-1 launcher for microsatellites. The test was conducted by a technical team from the Brazilian Aerospace Institute (IAE) on behalf of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and the Brazilian Ministry of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA). As part of the long-term cooperation between Brazil and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the now tried and tested rocket motor is being used in a new sounding rocket for Europe.

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Virgin Orbit Selected to Launch Satellites from Brazil’s Alcantara Space Center

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Leveraging existing facilities at Alcântara Space Center, the LauncherOne system allows the first ever orbital flights from Brazil

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 28, 2021 (Virgin Orbit PR)— The Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) and Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) announced today that Virgin Orbit has been selected to bring orbital launch capability to Brazil, a country which has never successfully completed a domestic launch to orbit. Thanks to the unique mobility and small footprint of Virgin Orbit’s air-launched system architecture, launches to a wide range of orbital inclinations could quickly become possible without the need for new permanent infrastructure, nor the expansion of existing facilities.

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