Thursday 30 June 2022 10:45 AM Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch is DELAYED trends now

Thursday 30 June 2022 10:45 AM Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch is DELAYED trends now
Thursday 30 June 2022 10:45 AM Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch is DELAYED trends now

Thursday 30 June 2022 10:45 AM Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch is DELAYED trends now

Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch has been delayed due to a 'slightly out of bounds' propellent temperature on its LauncherOne rocket.

The launch, codenamed Straight Up, was set to take place at 10pm PDT Wednesday (6am BST Thursday) but will now happen 'in the coming days'. 

It is set to be the first nighttime launch for the aerospace company, which is part of British billionaire Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. 

When it finally happens, Straight Up will transport seven satellites for the US Space Force into low Earth orbit, around 310 miles (500km) above Earth. 

The satellites will be blasted into space on a rocket called LauncherOne, which will be unleashed from a jumbo jet from Mojave Air and Space Port in California. 

Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch has been delayed a day due to 'slightly out of bounds' propellent temperature on its LauncherOne rocket

Virgin Orbit's first nighttime launch has been delayed a day due to 'slightly out of bounds' propellent temperature on its LauncherOne rocket

Seven satellites will be blasted into space on a rocket called LauncherOne, which will be unleashed from a jumbo jet from Mojave Air and Space Port in California

Seven satellites will be blasted into space on a rocket called LauncherOne, which will be unleashed from a jumbo jet from Mojave Air and Space Port in California

Virgin Orbit launches involve the firm's carrier aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 called Cosmic Girl (pictured), and a two-stage orbital launch vehicle called LauncherOne, tucked into Cosmic Girl's belly

Virgin Orbit launches involve the firm's carrier aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 called Cosmic Girl (pictured), and a two-stage orbital launch vehicle called LauncherOne, tucked into Cosmic Girl's belly

LAUNCHER ONE FLIGHTS

PAST 

May 25, 2020: Failure 

- January 17, 2021: Success 

- June 30, 2021: Success

- January 13, 2022: Success

All took place from Mojave Air and Space Port, California

UPCOMING 

- Early July, 2022 (from Mojave Air and Space Port)

- September 8, 2022 (from Spaceport Cornwall)

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Straight Up, which is named after a 1988 hit by Paula Abdul, will also be the last Virgin Orbit launch before a historic blast off takes place from Cornwall in September – the first ever UK satellite launch.

It will mark one of the most significant milestones in UK spaceflight since the launch of the British space programme in 1952.

Virgin Orbit announced the Straight Up delay on Twitter less than an hour before the launch was expected to happen. 

'We are standing down from today's launch attempt,' the firm said. 

'Our systems are in great health, but our propellant temperature was slightly out of bounds, and out of extreme caution, we are scrubbed for the day. 

'We're proud of the team for running an extremely professional operation.' 

It is unclear exactly when the launch will rescheduled for, although it has been reported that the delay is only likely to be for 24 hours, so it could happen as soon as Friday morning UK time. 

As recently as six days ago, Virgin Orbit said it was on track for the scheduled launch at 10pm Wednesday local time, with 'dress rehearsals complete'.

As recently as six days ago, Virgin Orbit said it was on track for the scheduled launch at 10pm Wednesday local time, saying 'dress rehearsals complete'

 As recently as six days ago, Virgin Orbit said it was on track for the scheduled launch at 10pm Wednesday local time, saying 'dress rehearsals complete'

Virgin Orbit announced the Straight Up delay on Twitter less than an hour before the launch was expected to happen

Virgin Orbit announced the Straight Up delay on Twitter less than an hour before the launch was expected to happen

HOW VIRGIN ORBIT GETS SATELLITES INTO SPACE 

TAKE OFF Cosmic Girl, an adapted Boeing 747, takes off from an air and space port, initially in California.

ROCKET DEPLOYMENT  At cruising altitude around 35,000 feet, the chief pilot hits the Big Red Button that releases the rocket from the pylon.