Virgin Orbit is awaiting authorization to launch in the UK.

In Washington The first orbital launch from the United Kingdom, according to Virgin Orbit, is theoretically ready, but a launch permit from the British government is still pending.

Three days earlier at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, Virgin Orbit performed a launch rehearsal for the mission, including fueling the rocket, the company reported on October 5. According to the corporation, the vehicle is now “prepared for flight.”

In contrast to other LauncherOne flights, the planned launch will occur from Spaceport Cornwall in England rather than Mojave. To do that, you must request a launch permission from the British government’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The business stated in its Oct. 5 statement that the launch timeline “will be established by the launch permitting regulatory process” even though the launch licence is still pending.

Virgin Orbit is awaiting License for First UK Launch

Virgin Orbit’s CEO, Dan Hart, stated during an IPO-Edge webinar on October 6 that the business is closely collaborating with the CAA on the licencing application, citing discussions he held “very recently” with U.K. government representatives. Regarding the anticipated debut, he stated, “It’s very obvious that there’s a tremendous commitment to go forward.” That being said, there are some unanswered questions, and it’s crucial in our industry to make sure that roles are defined clearly and that safety comes first.

Hart acknowledged that the business has a launch date in its internal planning but declined to share it. We’ll release that over the following few days, he said. We are currently preparing for logistics to supply equipment and rockets.

According to sources in the industry, the launch was planned for no early than October 29, but considering the time needed to prepare for the launch in Cornwall and secure the launch licence, that date seems doubtful.

Nine cubesats from the United Kingdom, United States, Poland, and Oman will be carried on the mission, which will reportedly be dubbed “Start Me Up” after the Rolling Stones song. The satellites will be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of roughly 550 kilometres.

Virgin Orbit is awaiting License for First UK Launch

After two successful launches from Mojave in January and July, the forthcoming launch will be Virgin Orbit’s third this year. Originally planning to undertake up to six launches this year, the corporation later reduced that goal to four, with a launch from Mojave scheduled for later this year following the U.K. launch.

In light of the timing of the launch from Cornwall, Hart recognised it could be challenging to complete the fourth launch this year. He stated of the planned U.K. debut, “We will be focused first on this launch. “Then we’ll look and see if we can get that fourth one in,” said the speaker.

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