Virgin Galactic's orbital plans

Grey Havoc

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British billionaire Richard Branson has sold about $300m in Virgin Galactic stock, tapping his biggest listed asset again to prop up his business empire during the pandemic.

The billionaire offloaded almost 10.5m shares - about 4pc of the space-travel company - through a company he controls, leaving him with an 18pc stake, according to a regulatory filing.

The proceeds will support Branson’s travel and leisure businesses, as well as help develop new and existing ventures, a Virgin Group representative said. Branson, 71, remains Virgin Galactic’s biggest shareholder.

The company’s shares fell more than 5pc in premarket trading in New York.
 

Michel Van

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news over Virgin Orbit next step

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steelpillow

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news over Virgin Orbit next step

That Launcher Two is a strange beastie. A space rocket with a high-aspect-ratio straight wing that flies slower than its swept-wing mothership. Maybe it is oblique-pivoting despite the apparent fixed fairing, but even so the 747's tail fin is likely to get in the way. I'd certainly agree it needs some "long-term technology development" to get that sorted out.
 

TomcatViP

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It doesn't even seems it can't be fitted under the fuselage as with deployable wings (or not) it looks to be fairly identical in dimension to their present launcher (remember Ryan Compas Arrow under the wing of a C-130).
I would guess that the marketing department opted for that configuration to highlight the configuration changes.

virginorbit-firstmate.jpg




virgin-orbit-drop-test.gif
 
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Michel Van

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That Launcher Two is a strange beastie. A space rocket with a high-aspect-ratio straight wing that flies slower than its swept-wing mothership. Maybe it is oblique-pivoting despite the apparent fixed fairing, but even so the 747's tail fin is likely to get in the way.
It seems that Launcher Two is to heavy for under Wing launch
That launch from back will be tricky but possible, see the Shuttle drop Test in 1970s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHYhTFn45nU
 

steelpillow

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That launch from back will be tricky but possible, see the Shuttle drop Test in 1970s

The Shuttle had no engine for the tests. Melting the mothership's empennage is not an option here, either. Getting them to fire, at full throttle and with precise timing, has always been a problem. The risk is that the jockey craft will lose airspeed and fall back onto the mothership before it has manoeuvred clear. Simple dropping buys time and kinetic energy which are not available to the piggy-backed. Hence the Stratolaunch Roc still plans to drop things.
 

Grey Havoc

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Virgin Orbit working on "evolved" rocket. NASA's Stennis Space Center says it reached a Space Act Agreement with Virgin Orbit last November for testing of a new version of the company's Newton 3 engine (N3.2). Testing of the thrust chamber assembly for this upgraded engine on the E-1 Test Stand, Cell 1, began March 30 and lasted through July 20. A total of 87 hot fire tests were performed during the testing period, with a combined test time of 974 seconds.

Design changes will appear in the Newton 3 engine ... "Virgin Orbit has been working with the Stennis test team since late 2020 on a variety of complex, engine-related activities," said Tom Alexiou, program manager for Virgin Orbit's evolved launch vehicle. "Their support of us has been exemplary in all facets of the program. We continue to maintain an excellent working relationship and look forward to our latest N3.2 engine development testing program that will take us into 2022." We'll try to get more details about performance upgrades for this "evolved" version of LauncherOne.

 

Flyaway

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Flyaway

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Flyaway

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TomcatViP

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Another launch planned for the 13th of January.

Plus expansion plans:
The company is looking at other sites for LauncherOne missions in 2023 and beyond. Hart said he expected the company to fly out of Oita, Japan, in 2023 after signing a memorandum of understanding with ANA Holdings, parent company of All Nippon Airways, in November 2021. There are also ongoing discussions with Brazil as well as interest from Australia and several European countries.

Virgin Orbit signed a deal with the Space Force in 2020 to launch from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, but even after the completion of an environmental review last year a launch there is not yet scheduled, he said. “We’re coordinating and in discussions with the Space Force on when they want to fly from there,” he said.

 

steelpillow

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Well, that's usually why these enterprises go public - to raise new capital on the open markets and accept some equity dilution. Seldom seen such a silly-season headline for this kind of bog-basic move, though.
 

Flyaway

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Looks doubtful for any UK launch in 2022 and more likely to be 2023 by the sounds of it.

Plans to host the first orbital launches from the United Kingdom this year are moving ahead despite uncertainty about when regulators will grant licenses for those launches.

Virgin Orbit intends to conduct two launches of its LauncherOne air-launch system this year in flights this summer from Cornwall Airport Newquay, also known as Spaceport Cornwall in southwestern England.

“The Cornwall launches are targeted around the middle of the year, summertime,” said Dan Hart, chief executive of Virgin Orbit, said in a call with reporters Jan. 11, two days before its “Above the Clouds” launch from Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Tony Gingiss, chief operating officer of Virgin Orbit, said in the call that the first Cornwall launch would be two flights after Above the Clouds.

Tim Johnson, director of strategy and policy for the CAA, repeatedly declined to say if his agency expected the first U.K. launch to take place in 2022. He said four applications had been formally submitted with 14 others in a “pre-application” review.

“You are set up. You’ve had these applications. Do you expect a launch in 2022?” asked the committee’s chair, Greg Clark.

“We’re open for business. We’re processing applications. The key driver for the timetable will be the quality of the applications, the evidence presented,” Johnson responded.

In a back-and-forth with Clark, Johnson repeatedly declined to say if a first U.K. launch would take place in 2022, to the growing frustration of committee members. “I’m a bit disappointed that we haven’t been able to get a clear answer from you on the question that Greg just posed about whether you do expect a launch by the end of the year,” said another committee member, Dehenna Davison. “Can you give us a yes or no?”

Johnson again declined. “The CAA understands the importance of timeliness in this regard and we’re doing absolutely everything we can to achieve that.”

Later in the hearing, though, Colin Macleod, head of space regulation at the CAA, said he expected it to take 6 to 12 months to issue a license for a spaceport, and 9 to 18 months for a launch license. “The biggest factors in that timescale are how well the applicants can explain their safety to us,” he said. “They are the experts, they know their technology, and the whole point of our approach is to enable innovative space activity to take place, so they are the biggest determinants in how quickly we can move.”

 

alberchico

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And for anyone who can't afford that, you can always head down to Florida and fly on the vomit comet for only $8,200.

 

TomcatViP

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Guys, there is 18 million persons worth more than a million dollar in the US alone. If VG would target only for example the disgruntled parents that want to leave much to nothing to their kids, VG would be fully booked for a couple of centuries...
Then you have the passionates, the curious, the bored, the mimics etc... This market is a niche, but the extend of it make it largely profitable.

Source: Wiki
 
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edwest3

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Which raises the question: Where's my million dollars?

Please send a check to:

Me
Anywhere, USA
 

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Poland signs for Launch study:

The Polish Space Agency (POLSA) has signed a letter of intent with Virgin Orbit to evaluate how its LauncherOne can support the country's science and technology industries. This marks Poland's entry into the small satellite launch market.

Following several months of negotiations and an official visit to Virgin Orbit’s factory in Long Beach, California, the letter was signed by Professor Grzegorz Wrochna, POLSA President, and Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit CEO.

 

TomcatViP

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Virgin Orbit is assembling a fleet of modified 747 jets, the company announced Tuesday, ordering two new modified cargo airframes to help launch more rockets into space.

The company is acquiring the two additional airframes through L3Harris, which will modify the jets to carry and launch Virgin Orbit's rockets. Virgin expects to take delivery of the first of the planes next year.

 

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