The first satellite launch from Western Europe was unsuccessful. The rocket, launched by a specially modified Virgin Orbit Boeing 747 from an airport near Newquay in Cornwall, England, failed to enter orbit due to an “anomaly”. Virgin Orbit announced this on Twitter.
“It looks an anomaly prevented us from reaching orbit. We evaluate the information.” the company wrote on social media. “Removal of the previous tweet about entering orbit. We will share more information as soon as possible,” she added.
Branson and the Rolling Stones
Britain had already built its rocket and satellite and sent them into orbit (Prospero in 1971), and from Australia – and then relied on the US. British billionaire Richard Branson (72) wanted to fix that. He is known to have launched a mission called “Run Me” after a hit by the Rolling Stones.
It was this group that helped Branson make millions: “They helped us become the biggest independent label in the world.” Branson recalled how he started his business with Virgin Records. Then he ventured into aviation with Virgin Atlantic and into space – Virgin Galactic takes tourists to the edge of space (Branson also rode personally), Virgin Orbit launches satellites.
A modified aircraft called Cosmic Girl (again a hit by British band Jamiroquai) launched a LauncherOne rocket carrying nine British company and government satellites on Tuesday after midnight CET, after an hour of flight, to an altitude of approximately 10,700 meters. over the Atlantic.
The first stage of the rocket worked successfully, the second stage also managed to produce the first ignition after separation. But then an anomaly occurred. The rocket either burned up in the atmosphere (flying at a speed of about 18,000 km / h) or fell into the ocean.
So called a horizontal booster 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. Newquay Airport adopted the name Cornwall Spaceport to commemorate the occasion. About 2,000 people watched the mission, and tickets sold out quickly.
Thus, Russia remains the only place in Europe from which a satellite has ever been successfully launched, France and ESA have a Kourou launch site in French Guiana in South America. Branson will definitely try again from England, but he could be overtaken by Sweden’s Esrange launch site.