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News: Virgin Orbit Halts Operations

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  1. Virgin Orbit Halts Operations; Re-evaluates
    Virgin Orbit has halted all operations at least temporarily has it looks to reassess, secure further funding as well as modify key functions of its rocket. You may remember that at the start of the year the rocket with 9 small satellites onboard failed to reach orbit and were lost as a result. Virgin Orbit utilizes a tandem approach with a Boeing 747 named "Cosmic Girl" to fly the rocket to high altitude and launch it from its underwing pylon. They suggest there was an anomaly with a fuel filter that became dislodged during the launch sequence. A spokesperson recently said, "On the ops side, our investigation is nearly complete and our next production rocket with the needed modification incorporated is in final stages of integration and test."
  2. For those who may not be familiar with Virgin Orbit, it is a company within the Virgin Group of companies that provides launch services for small satellites clients. Councillor Louis Gardner, of Cornwall Council, who is in charge of the county’s economy said, "It is clearly a difficult time for the Virgin Orbit team as they navigate the next stage of their company, and we will await further information from them as events unfold. Our focus at Spaceport Cornwall is to continue to grow the space cluster in Cornwall, alongside progressing relationships with spaceflight operators. "We remain the only licensed spaceport in the UK and our plan is to build on that position." As of 2017, Virgin Orbit employed just around 400 persons and more recent numbers suggest closer to 700 employees. Now many of those workers are reportedly on unpaid leave.

    For more information:

    Virgin Orbit
    4022 E Conant St,
    Long Beach, CA 90808,
    United States

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