Virgin Orbit launches first satellite mission after SPAC merger – Loren Grush

Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl and LauncherOne just after rocket separation on a previous flight | Image: Virgin Orbit

This afternoon, small satellite launcher Virgin Orbit successfully lofted seven tiny satellites into orbit around Earth, marking the third successful mission for the Virgin Galactic spinoff company. The payloads consisted of various research satellites for the Department of Defense, along with three small satellites from companies SatRevolution and Spire Global.

The launch comes less than a week after Virgin Orbit’s stock began publicly trading for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. Virgin Orbit announced in August its plan to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, making it one of three small rocket launch companies to follow the trend in 2021. On Friday, January 7th, Virgin Orbit CEO…

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