Showing posts with label Virgin Orbit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virgin Orbit. Show all posts

Monday, 16 May 2022

A new era of spaceflight launches with new landmark partnership between the US and UK

Landmark partnership between the US and UK to launch new era of spaceflight

UK lays the foundation for rockets, high-altitude balloons and spaceplanes to lift off from spaceports across the UK, creating thousands of jobs in the process.


Future spaceflight will be made easier and cheaper, following a landmark partnership with the United States to help cut red tape and boost opportunities in the UK, signed by the Transport Secretary this week in Washington.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg signed a declaration on 11 May 2022 to work together on future commercial spaceflight missions, in the iconic Smithsonian Institution.

The partnership will help launch cheaper, quicker and more streamlined spaceflight operations through close collaboration between the 2 countries on licensing of commercial space launches.

The move will cut down red tape and the regulatory burden to operators resulting in greater efficiencies and a reduction in costs, resources and duplication while maintaining stringent safety standards.

The new declaration sends a clear signal to countries across the globe that the UK aims to be a European hub of space activity and lays the foundation for rockets, high-altitude balloons and spaceplanes to lift off from spaceports across the UK very soon.

This comes as the UK prepares to make its first-ever launch from home soil, and Europe, later this year from Spaceport Cornwall.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:  "This transformational partnership is one giant leap for both countries as we prepare for an exciting new era of spaceflight to lift off.

With 7 spaceports being developed across the UK, the space industry is already injecting billions into our economy while offering high-skilled jobs.  

As we look beyond the UK’s first planned spaceflight later this year, I look forward to seeing the innovations and opportunities skyrocket thanks to this collaboration."

Offering launch capability will provide UK companies, as well as those from around the world, with direct access to the space environment while generating high-skilled jobs up and down the country and levelling up some of the most remote communities.

This will reduce the UK’s reliance on other launch countries to put British-built and operated satellites into space, which provide benefits to all – from critical defence security and better weather forecasts to enabling our television services and more efficient transport.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Virgin Orbit renames VOX Space as Virgin Orbit National Systems and adds new board members

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

Virgin Orbit, a leading satellite launch provider, announced this week 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.”

Since its founding in 2017, the Virgin Orbit National Systems team has developed and provided services to the national security and intelligence communities, focused on defense and the protection of the United States and its allies through Virgin Orbit’s responsive space capabilities. To date, Virgin Orbit has launched ten national security payloads across its three successful flights. Each of those launches have been contracted through its Virgin Orbit National Systems subsidiary.

In addition, Virgin Orbit National Systems announced it has welcomed a new member to its board of directors: Major General Craig R. Cooning, (USAF, Ret.). General Cooning is a Former President of Boeing’s Space and Network Systems, an $ 8.5B annual revenue business of 10,000 plus employees and customers worldwide providing space exploration, satellites, missile defence, autonomous vehicles and cyber defence. He also served as Chairman of the Board of United Launch Alliance, a joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart remarked, “We’ve built Virgin Orbit National Systems as a team of deep experts to support the unique requirements of this critical set of mission partners. As the name makes clear, Virgin Orbit National Systems is very much part of our Virgin Orbit family, with all the tools, processes, and expertise to get the job done efficiently and effectively. We see our work serving the national security community as an important part of both our business and our purpose.”

Virgin Orbit National Systems President Brigadier General Mark Baird (USAF Ret.) added, “By bringing the brand under which we serve our national security customers into even closer alignment with the rest of Virgin Orbit’s established market presence, we show our laser focus on supporting the readiness of our national security space mission partners. I am delighted to welcome our new board member, General Craig Cooning, to our Virgin Orbit National Systems board, where he will join General Susan Mashiko. Our team is committed to meeting the evolving mission requirements of the national security community.”

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Saturday, 29 January 2022

Virgin Orbit Adds Distinguished Spaceflight Engineering Executive Amidst Operations Scale Up

Following Virgin Orbit’s completion of its third successful consecutive LauncherOne mission in under twelve months, wherein it reached a series of key milestones, including new orbital inclinations never before possible from the West Coast, and launch through inclement weather, Dr. Givens’ appointment supports the company’s continued growth, from strategy and technology development through recurring rocket production and operations.

Leading US-based space launch and space services company Virgin Orbit announced this week the addition of industry leader Dr. Candace Givens as its new Vice President of Engineering. Dr. Givens joins the Virgin Orbit team as the company scales up its flight rate to accommodate high demand seen from commercial customers, the national security community, the international community, and NASA.

Dr Givens joins a team that has uniquely demonstrated the ability to bring new technology to spaceflight and move it into regular launch operations—Having now completed their third commercial spaceflight and having deployed 26 satellites during the first 12 months of operations. In her role as Vice President of Engineering Dr. Givens will work closely with Virgin Orbit chief engineer and senior vice president of technology Kevin Sagis who has been instrumental in developing, proving and establishing the air-launched LauncherOne System.

Monday, 27 December 2021

Virgin Orbit completes final launch rehearsal

Virgin Orbit announced the successful completion of its wet dress rehearsal today prior to its third launch carrying U.S. Department of Defense and commercial satellites to Low Earth Orbit.

Virgin Orbit team completing final technical rehearsal of LauncherOne R5 for January flight (Photo: Business Wire)

Virgin Orbit, which has announced a planned business combination with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II  completed a full wet dress rehearsal of its air-launched LauncherOne satellite delivery service, taking the integrated system through a full run of procedures to verify the health of the system and the preparedness of the team just prior to the Christmas break. 

“The successful completion of this final major test has us heading into the holiday season with excellent momentum and high confidence for our Above the Clouds launch,” said Chief Operating Officer Tony Gingiss. “It’s been an incredible year, delivering 19 satellites to orbit and ramping up our factory for 2022 – our team has earned a joyous and restful holiday with their families.”

With this critical test successfully completed and the bonus of adding an additional satellite to the payload stack earlier this month, Virgin Orbit is tracking towards a launch in January 2022. The launch window is set to open on January 12th, 2022, and the launch itself will be live-streamed to the public. The spacecraft to be launched for this mission include satellites for the US Department of Defense’s Space Test Program, Polish company SatRevolution, and Spire Global, Inc. Virgin Orbit has safely loaded the spacecraft in the vehicle’s payload adapter, and they are slated for delivery to the Mojave Air and Space Port in early January.

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. On August 22, 2021, Virgin Orbit entered into a definitive agreement to combine with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II), a special purpose acquisition company, which would result in Virgin Orbit becoming a publicly listed company on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol VORB. 

Virgin Orbit team completing final technical rehearsal of LauncherOne R5 for January flight (Photo: Business Wire)

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