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Long Beach's Future In Space
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Long Beach-based Virgin Orbit Plans June Launch Of Satellites For US Dept. of Defense Space Test Pgm, Royal Netherlands Air Force And Poland Based Firm



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(May 7, 2021) -- Long Beach based Virgin Orbit, a satellite launch firm based in Long Beach's Douglas Park (4022 E Conant St.) has announced (May 6) it plans a June launch for groups of satellites for the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and a Poland-based firm.

"At this very moment, the rocket that will carry our next customers to space is fully assembled and in the coming days we'll ship it out to our Mojave test site for prelaunch operations," says Virgin Orbit in a release.

Virgin Orbit's announcement follows its successful January launch (LBREPORT.com coverage here) using its "Launcher One," a rocket deployed from beneath the firm's "Cosmic Girl" jet (offering mobile launch capability from basically anywhere) and the firm's recently announced plan to provide Brazil with launch capability (LBREPORT.com coverage here)

(May 7, 2021) -- Long Beach based Virgin Orbit, a satellite launch firm based in Long Beach's Douglas Park (4022 E Conant St.) has announced (May 6) it plans a June launch for groups of satellites from the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and a Poland-based firm.

"At this very moment, the rocket that will carry our next customers to space is fully assembled and in the coming days weíll ship it out to our Mojave test site for prelaunch operations," Virgin Orbit says in a release.

Virgin Orbit's announcement follows its successful January launch (LBREPORT.com coverage here) using its "Launcher One" rocket carried and deployed from beneath the firm's "Cosmic Girl" jet (providing mobile launch capability from various locations) and the firm's recently announced plan to provide Brazil with launch capability (LBREPORT.com coverage here)

In a release, Virgin Orbit says its June mission will put satellites into orbit for

  • The U.S. Department of Defense "which is launching three CubeSat sets as part of the DoD Space Test Programís (STP) Rapid Agile Launch (RALI)Initiative." Virgin Orbit subsidiary VOX Space was awarded the launch (also known as STP-VP27A) by the DoDís Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) (focused on accelerating adoption of commercial technology into the U.S. military.

  • The Royal Netherlands Air Force with its first military satellite, a CubeSat called BRIK II (built and integrated by Innovative Solutions in Space with contributions from the University of Oslo, the Delft University of Technology, and Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre.

  • SatRevolution, a Poland based firm's first two optical satellites, STORK-4and STORK-5 (A.K.A. MARTA), part of its 14-satellite STORK constellation.

As with its Jan. 2021 mission, Virgin Orbit will conduct its June 2021 mission from the Mojave Air and Space Port with a targeted 500 km, circular orbit at 60 degrees inclination.

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Long Beach is also home to Rocket Lab, officed at 3881 McGowen St. which launches self-manufactured rockets from a facility in New Zealand to deliver small satellites into low earth orbits, and Relativity, HQ'd at 3500 E Burnett, now developing a printed rocket.

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Space X recently agreed to use a portion of the Port of Long Beach's Pier T as a marine terminal to dock vessels and offload equipment as part of west coast rocket recovery operations

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Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.


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