Virgin Orbit hoping for its first LauncherOne air-to-orbit launch in 2018.

Space News:

Virgin Orbit, the spinoff of Virgin Galactic that is developing the LauncherOne small launch vehicle, is now planning a first flight of that rocket in the first half of 2018, the company said Aug. 1.

Virgin Orbit updated the timetable for LauncherOne in a statement announcing the arrival of the rocket’s carrier aircraft, a converted Boeing 747, at Long Beach Airport in California, where Virgin Orbit has its manufacturing facility. The plane recently completed an extensive modification program to serve as the air-launch platform for LauncherOne.


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