August 20, 2022

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Virgin Orbit missile launches 7 US defense satellites

Virgin Orbit missile launches 7 US defense satellites

A Virgin Orbit rocket completed a US Department of Defense mission Friday night by launching a series of satellites.

Satellites were launched from Boeing 747 . private jet Flying off the coast of Southern California.

The giant modified aircraft took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in the Mojave Desert and launched the missile over the Pacific Ocean.

A view of Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, with a missile under the wing of a modified Boeing 747. (Reuters/Jane Blevins/Reuters Photo)

It was a mission organized by the US Space Force for Defense Department test program.

The seven satellites will perform different experiments.

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Virgin Orbit was founded in 2017 by British billionaire Richard Branson. It is headquartered in Long Beach, California, and is currently conducting launches from Mojave Airport but plans international missions.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson speaks after he flew into space aboard the Virgin Galactic, a trip he described as an “experience of a lifetime” – which he hopes will be the start of an era of lucrative space tourism at Spaceport America, near Truth and Cons (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images | Virgin Orbit/Getty Images)

This was Virgin Orbit’s fourth commercial launch and first night launch.

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The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday night, but a fuel temperature problem caused a delay.

The mission was named “straight” after hit Paula Abdul which was released by Virgin Records in 1988.

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The company plans to launch two satellites on a mission from Cornwall, England, later this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.