The US company Virgin Orbit Thursday, January 13th, sent a number of satellites into Earth orbit by a missile launched by a civilian plane, including the Military Technologies Examination satellites, the US Spire satellite and two Polish micro-satellites.
According to the “RT” website, a spokesperson for the company said that its launcherOne aircraft launched on Thursday civilian and military satellites into Earth orbit.
The LauncherOne is a US-developed Boeing-747 aircraft, under the wing of which is installed a two-stage missile for launching satellites from the air.
The plane took off from an airport in the Mojave Desert, California, at 13:38 on January 13 WEST (00.38 on January 14 Moscow time).
It took more than an hour for the plane to climb to an altitude of 9,500 meters, then the missile separated from the plane to continue flying towards Earth’s orbit.
And a statement published by the company on “Twitter” stated that all the satellites had reached their orbits.
It is reported that the length of the missile reaches 21.3 meters. It is capable of delivering satellites weighing up to 500 kilograms into Earth’s orbit.
The company’s experts believe that the method of launching satellites by air is cheaper, compared to the classic method, since missiles can be launched from an aircraft taking off from any civilian airport.
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