Virgin Orbit on track for Launch Demo 2

Cosmic Girl flying above the clouds
Virgin Orbit
Asher Harris
by Asher Harris
20 October 2020

Virgin Orbit has revealed its latest update on Launch Demo 2 - the next big milestone for the dedicated small satellite launch service.

The Virgin Orbit team has been using lessons learned from its first Launch Demo in May to speed up the process of Launch Demo 2. In some cases, what took two months now takes two weeks. Progress has also been made to software and hardware preparations for a further four flights following Launch Demo 2.

To continue working safely, the team has collaborated with NASA to create a COVID-secure working environment so it can keep doing its incredible work.

What’s more, for the first time in Virgin Orbit’s short history, customers have visited its facility to begin processing their spacecraft for launch. In just three years, Virgin Orbit has managed to go from start-up to its first Launch Demo. That’s rapid by industry standards. Launch Demo 2 rockets were shipped out of Virgin Orbit’s factory in late August and are on track for launch before the end of the year.

The team has successfully conducted a number of checkouts and tests, including fully loading its rocket with propellants like cryogenic liquid oxygen to verify the health of all rocket systems.

You can hear directly from Virgin Orbit’s technical leaders on what the team has been up to since Launch Demo 1 in the video above.

Find out more about preparations for Launch Demo 2 on the Virgin Orbit website.