Virgin Orbit’s specially modified Boeing 747, which will later launch a rocket carrying nine satellites, took off from an airport near Newquay in Cornwall, UK, late in the evening CET. This is the first launch of satellites from Western Europe, writes Reuters.
The Boeing took off with a rocket attached under its wing and then soared over the Atlantic Ocean.. An hour after takeoff, the rocket launches at an altitude of approximately 10,700 meters. About 2,000 people watched the plane take off.
A so-called horizontal launch catapulted a resort in the southwest of England with a population of 20,000, famous for reliable Atlantic waves, in the spotlight as a possible Western European launch center for small satellites.
Virgin Orbit, co-owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, has said it will launch nine satellites into low Earth orbit on its first mission outside the US.