European Satellite Launch

Virgin Orbit is set to launch the first orbital satellite from Western Europe on Monday, in a historic moment for the region. The launch, which will take place from Cornwall in South West England, will see a modified Boeing 747 aircraft with a rocket attached under its wing take off and release the rocket, which will carry small satellites from seven customers into orbit.

Launch details

  • The launch, known as a horizontal launch, has been given a window for take-off from 22:16 GMT on Monday. However, this is dependent on weather conditions and other scheduling and system issues.
  • Virgin Orbit has stated that there are back-up dates in mid and late January in case the launch cannot go ahead as planned.

Collaborative project

  • The launch, called "Start Me Up" after a Rolling Stones song, is a joint project between Virgin Orbit, the UK Space Agency, Cornwall Council and Britain's Royal Air Force.
  • It will see government and commercial customers using the satellite launch service.

Economic benefits

  • The launch is expected to boost the British economy by �3.8bn ($4.5bn) over the next decade. Britain has a large space industry, employing 47,000 people who build more satellites than any other country outside the United States.
  • However, these satellites have had to be transported to spaceports in the U.S., French Guiana or Kazakhstan before they can be launched into orbit. The launch from Cornwall will mean that satellite launches can take place from within Britain, providing a boost to the economy.

The launch of the first orbital satellite from Western Europe is a significant milestone for the region. Virgin Orbit's "Start Me Up" project, in collaboration with the UK Space Agency, Cornwall Council and the Royal Air Force, will see small satellites launched into orbit from Cornwall, with the potential to boost the British economy by �3.8bn over the next decade. The launch is scheduled for Monday, with back-up dates available in case of any issues.

 

Written by IAS POINT

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