In pictures: Branson's Virgin Orbit moves closer to commercial satellite launch
Updated : 2019-07-11 16:43:44
Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit on Wednesday released a rocket from the wing of a modified Boeing 747 jetliner in mid-air in a key test of its high-altitude launch system for satellites, the company said. In the penultimate mission before Virgin Orbit offers commercial satellite launch services, the 70-foot (21.34 m) LauncherOne rocket cleanly separated from the jetliner at roughly 35,000 feet, the company said. The rocket, loaded with water and antifreeze to simulate the weight of fuel, crashed as planned into the Mojave Desert as the jetliner, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, continued on its flight path.