Virgin Orbit to Expands Fleet with 2 More Boeing 747s

L3Harris modified Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl airborne launch pad at its Waco, Texas aircraft modification center. (Credit: L3Harris Technologies)

Highlights:

  • Virgin Orbit signs agreement to secure two new airframes to meet U.S. national security and its allies’ launch demands
  • L3Harris will modify one aircraft, aims to deliver Virgin Orbit’s second airborne launcher by 2023
  • New cargo configuration expected to enable foreign spaceport launch and transport of rockets, support equipment

LONG BEACH, Calif. and MELBOURNE, Fla., May 10, 2022 (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), a leading satellite launch company, has signed an agreement with L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) to acquire two Boeing 747-400 airframes to support the growing need for U.S. national security and allies’ satellite launch demands.  

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Virgin Orbit Announces Next Launch, Dubbed ‘Straight Up’

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) has entered flight preparation mode for its forthcoming launch, Straight Up, that will support the United States Space Force’s STP-28A mission. After departing Virgin Orbit’s Long Beach rocket factory on Thursday, April 28, 2022, the rocket arrived at the Mojave Air and Space Port. It will support the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) and will carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program (STP).

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Japanese Radar Constellation iQPS Selects Virgin Orbit for 2023 Orbital Launch

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Galactic PR)–Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), a leading satellite launch provider, announced today the signing of a launch services agreement with Japanese earth observation constellation operator Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (“iQPS”). The satellite is expected to join Virgin Orbit’s manifest for early 2023.

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Former Virgin Group Senior Partner Joins Seraphim Space’s Investment Team

LONDON (Seraphim Space PR) — Seraphim Space Manager LLP, the manager of Seraphim Space Investment Trust plc, the world’s first listed Space Tech Fund, is delighted to announce that Patrick McCall, former Senior Partner of Virgin Group, will join the company.

Patrick joins Seraphim as a Venture Partner following a long and distinguished career in the space, communication and transport sector, He worked for two decades in the senior team driving the expansion of the Virgin Group and as the Chair of Virgin Orbit and Virgin Galactic. His achievements include financing the development of Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit, culminating in the flotations of both companies. He also played a key role in agreeing the launch agreement for Virgin Orbit from the Spaceport in Cornwall later this year.

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Virgin Orbit Announces Date for First Quarter 2022 Earnings Release and Conference Call

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 27, 2022 (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) (“Virgin Orbit” or the “Company”), announced today that it will report financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, after the market closes on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. The Company will host a conference call on the same day at 4:30 pm Eastern Time to discuss the results.

Participants may access the call at 1-877-407-0792, international callers may use 1-201-689-8263, and request to join the Virgin Orbit earnings call. A live webcast will also be available at https://investors.virginorbit.com/news-events/ir-calendar.

A telephonic replay will be available shortly after the conclusion of the call and until Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Participants may access the replay at 1-844-512-2921, and international callers may use 1-412-317-6671 and enter access code 13729410. An archived replay of the call will be available on the investors portion of the Virgin Orbit website at https://investors.virginorbit.com/.

ABOUT VIRGIN ORBIT

Virgin Orbit operates one of the most flexible and responsive space launch systems ever built. Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, the company began commercial service in 2021, and has already delivered commercial, civil, national security, and international satellites into orbit. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and are air-launched from a modified 747- 400 carrier aircraft that allows Virgin Orbit to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs. To learn more, visit virginorbit.com

Cosmic Shielding Corporation to Test Plasteel™ Radiation Shielding Technology Aboard Space Forge Satellite in UK’s First Sovereign Launch

Space radiation management company will confirm survivability of revolutionary composite while exposed to the vacuum of space

Render of ForgeStar platform.
Render of ForgeStar platform. (Credit: Cosmic Shielding Corporation)

ATLANTA (Cosmic Shielding Corporation PR) — Cosmic Shielding Corporation (Cosmic Shielding), the leading space radiation management company and creator of Plasteel™ technology, today announced an agreement with European in-space manufacturing tech start-up Space Forge to test Cosmic Shielding’s radiation shielding technology aboard Space Forge’s new small class vehicle. The ForgeStar-0 will be launching on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne this summer from Spaceport Cornwall.

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Virgin Orbit Announces Renaming of Its National Security Arm and Introduction of New Board Members

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

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), a leading satellite launch provider, announced today the renaming of its national security arm. Formerly “VOX Space,” Virgin Orbit’s U.S.-based, wholly owned subsidiary engaged with national security organizations in the U.S. and its allies will now do so under the name “Virgin Orbit National Systems.”

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The Satellite Applications Catapult, Horizon Technologies, and Virgin Orbit Accelerate the UK Small Satellite Market with a New Launch Agreement for Cornwall 2022

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

DIDCOT, UK (Satellite Applications Catapult PR) The Satellite Applications Catapult (“the Catapult”) and Virgin Orbit (“Virgin Orbit”, Nasdaq: VORB), a leading launch provider, have announced an agreement to launch the latest satellite in the Catapult’s In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) programme into space from the United Kingdom later this year.

The satellite, called Amber-1, is a partnership between the Catapult and Horizon Technologies. Built by AAC Clyde Space in Scotland, it will be launched by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne on its historic flight from Spaceport Cornwall this year – a mission that is expected to mark the first ever orbital launch from a United Kingdom spaceport.

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Report: UAE Working with Blue Origin to Establish Spaceport, Ends Agreement with Virgin Galactic

New Shepard takes off with six passengers on Dec. 11, 2021. (Credit: Blue Origin website)

At the end of a long article about the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) efforts to develop a virbrant space industry, The National revealed this bit of news from Ibrahim Al Qasim, deputy director general of the UAE Space Agency.

Mr Al Qasim revealed to The National that the agreement that was signed in 2019 with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to bring space tourism flights to Al Ain Airport is no longer in effect, without explaining further.

Instead, the country is now working with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to set up spaceports.

He said discussions with the company, which has already flown 20 people on its suborbital flights, are under way.

Any agreement to fly Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle would be dependent upon a technology safeguards agreement between the UAE and the United States. An agreement with New Zealand allows Rocket Lab to launch Electron rockets from the company’s spaceport on Mahia Peninsula. Brazil has signed an agreement that will allow U.S. companies to launch from the Alcantara Space Center.

The UAE state of Abu Dhabi has been a major investor in Virgin Galactic, which plans to fly suborbital tourism flights aboard SpaceShipTwo. In 2009, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Aabar Investments put in $280 million for a 31.7 percent share of Richard Branson’s space company. Aabar later invested an additional $100 million for a 38.7 percent share of Virgin Galactic.

The additional $100 million investment was intended to help finance the development of a small satellite booster that would be air launched from WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft when it wasn’t used for SpaceShipTwo suborbital flights. A new company, Virgin Orbit, split off from Virgin Galactic. The company dumped plans to use WhiteKnightTwo; instead, it uses a larger booster, LauncherOne, that is dropped from a modified Boeing 747 named Cosmic Girl.

Virgin Orbit Suffers Net Loss of $157.3 Million in 2021

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)
  • Successfully launched 7 customer satellites onboard its LauncherOne rocket during the Above the Clouds mission on January 13, 2022, the company’s third successful launch.
  • Full year 2021 revenue increased to $7.4 million, up from $3.8 million in the prior year period.
  • Growing backlog of contracts, including selection by NASA’s launch service program to support the agency’s VADR missions.
  • Completed its going public transaction and began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on December 30, 2021.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) (“Virgin Orbit” or the “Company”), the responsive launch and space solutions company, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2021.

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Virgin Galactic Appoints Pilot Kelly Latimer to Director of Flight Test

Kelly Latimer

TUSTIN, Calif. (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), an aerospace and space travel company, today announced that veteran pilot and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kelly Latimer has been promoted to Director of Flight Test.

Latimer joined Virgin Galactic in 2015 as its first female test pilot. She currently serves as a pilot for the mothership, VMS Eve, and was pilot in command for the Unity 21 mission and second in command for the historic Unity 22 mission. She will continue to serve as a Virgin Galactic pilot and will fly the Company’s spaceships on future test and commercial missions.

In her new role, Latimer will oversee the entirety of the Company’s flight test program including design, planning, execution, and post-flight analysis. This includes leading the flight test engineering team and managing mission control engineers who gather and analyze flight data to validate the safety and performance of the spaceflight system. Latimer will supervise the completion of the flight test program for Virgin Galactic’s current fleet, which is scheduled to resume later this year, and will work in parallel on the development of the Company’s new motherships and Delta class spaceships.

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Virgin Orbit Plans Poland Partnership

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — The Government of Poland has signed a letter of intent to partner with Virgin Orbit to bring the first-ever air launch capabilities to Eastern Europe. This includes investment in a spaceport, which will become a launch hub for surrounding Baltic nations.

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Virgin Orbit to Launch First Welsh Satellite From UK Spaceport Summer 2022

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. & CARDIFF, Wales (Virgin Orbit PR) — Leading launch company Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) and European in-space manufacturing tech start-up Space Forge announce today an agreement to launch the first satellite developed in Wales in summer 2022.

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New Mexico Seeks to Attract Virgin Galactic’s Manufacturing Facility to Spaceport America

A majority of Virgin Galactic’s future Astronauts gather with Sir Richard Branson (center) for a group photo at Virgin Galactic FAITH hangar in Mojave, CA September 25, 2013. Behind the group is the WhiteKnightTwo mated with SpaceShipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Updated on March 5 at 8:34 a.m. PST with additional information about space companies located in the Los Angeles area and the benefits of industry clusters to employers and employees.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The state of New Mexico has proposed that Virgin Galactic establish a production facility at Spaceport America, which is where the company plans to begin flying tourists on suborbital space rides later this year. KRQE TV reports:

The New Mexico Economic Development Department says they have a proposal to bring Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing to the Spaceport. Right now, the manufacturing location is in the Mojave desert. Spaceport America has five permanent tenants that are conducting a variety of experiments; including one company that uses laser technology to help land on the moon.

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