Virgin Orbit was forced to postpone the first launch of a new LauncherOne rocket designed to deliver small satellites into orbit yesterday. However, the delay may be short-lived.
According to the plan, the modified Boeing 747 was reported to drop the LauncherOne missile over the Pacific Ocean on May 24 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pacific time (7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Moscow time) for the first test flight. But after refueling the rocket, problems arose with one of its sensors.
“Everything is going smoothly: the team, the plane and the rocket are in order. However, there is one sensor that does not work, Virgin Orbit tweeted. – As a precaution, we pump out fuel to solve the problem.“.
The next attempt to launch LauncherOne, the company may make an attempt on Monday (May 25). This date was indicated as a backup for the rocket’s debut.
LauncherOne is a small 21-meter launch vehicle designed to deliver payloads of up to 500 kg in low Earth orbit. The rocket uses RP-1 rocket kerosene and liquid oxygen as fuel. This combination is quite low cost. Its launch is carried out in the air from a Cosmic Girl carrier aircraft, which is a Boeing 747 jet aircraft modified for such missions.
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