Watch the moment Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket crashed back to Earth  trends now

Watch the moment Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket crashed back to Earth  trends now
Watch the moment Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket crashed back to Earth  trends now

Watch the moment Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket crashed back to Earth  trends now

It was the first ever orbital space launch from British soil but ultimately ended in failure as Virgin Orbit's rocket was lost.

The 70ft-long LauncherOne rocket suffered an 'anomaly' during the second stage of its ascent to space and never reached the required altitude to deploy its payload of nine satellites into orbit.

It is thought the rocket then either burnt up in the atmosphere or broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean.

Footage of that dramatic moment has now emerged after an observer captured the main part of LauncherOne plummeting back to Earth following re-entry. 

Devastating: Britain's historic first ever orbital space launch on UK soil dramatically failed on Monday night, after Virgin Orbit revealed that an 'anomaly' had prevented its rocket from reaching orbit. Pictured is the moment the rocket ignited

Devastating: Britain's historic first ever orbital space launch on UK soil dramatically failed on Monday night, after Virgin Orbit revealed that an 'anomaly' had prevented its rocket from reaching orbit. Pictured is the moment the rocket ignited

TIMELINE: HOW VIRGIN'S CORNWALL SPACE LAUNCH WENT WRONG ON MONDAY

22:02 GMT: Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl space plane takes off from Spaceport Cornwall

23:10 GMT: After reaching its launch zone just off the coast of Ireland, Cosmic Girl deploys the rocket attached to its belly

23:11 GMT: The rocket heads past Portugal as it ascends to space

23:18 GMT: Virgin appears to suggest on Twitter that the mission has succeeded in reaching orbit

** 

23:18 GMT: Ramón López – who is a collaborator with the Spanish Meteor Network – films a fiery blob in the night sky over Lanzarote, which experts later say is LauncherOne.

** 

23:50 GMT: It emerges that an 'anomaly' has occurred which prevented the rocket from deploying its payload of satellites into orbit

23:55 GMT: Cosmic Girl returns to Cornwall Spaceport as disheartened spectators watch on

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It was filmed from Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa, and matches both the launch trajectory and timing of Virgin Orbit's rocket, experts say.

The booster was successfully launched from the wing of a modified 747 jumbo jet, which had taken off from Cornwall Spaceport in Newquay on Monday night.

Virgin Orbit's mission appeared to be going smoothly, only for the rocket to suffer an 'anomaly' as it made its ascent from just off the south coast of Ireland towards Portugal while accelerating to space at 11,000mph. 

It never reached its target altitude to release a payload of nine satellites into orbit and was ultimately lost some time around 23:15 GMT.

Just minutes earlier, Ramón López – who is a collaborator with the Spanish Meteor Network – spotted a fiery blob in the sky as LauncherOne's second stage came crashing back to Earth along with its satellites at 23:18 GMT.

He posted a video on Twitter and YouTube of the moment it happened.

Experts including Netherlands-based scientist and satellite tracker Marco Langbroek then confirmed that the fireball would have been LauncherOne.

'The timing, viewing direction (W-NW), and direction of movement match well with the launch trajectory for the "Start me Up" mission, which passed about 380 km to the west of Lanzarote,' he wrote on his blog.

'The low sky elevation also shows that the object is in fact well below orbital altitude, consistent with reentry into the atmosphere.

'Had it been in the 555 km altitude orbit aimed for, it would have passed much higher in the sky as seen from Lanzarote, and been invisible, as that part of the orbit was not sun-illuminated. 

'The fact that it is visible, already shows it was burning up by this time, creating the slow fireball visible in the video.'

Footage of that dramatic moment has now emerged after an observer captured the main part of LauncherOne plummeting back to Earth following re-entry

Footage of that dramatic moment has now emerged after an observer captured the main part of LauncherOne plummeting back to Earth following re-entry

It was filmed from Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa, and matches both the launch trajectory and timing of Virgin Orbit's rocket, experts say

It was filmed from Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa, and matches both the launch trajectory and timing of Virgin Orbit's rocket, experts say

Ramón López – who is a collaborator with the Spanish Meteor Network – spotted a fiery blob in the sky as LauncherOne's second stage came crashing back to Earth along with its satellites at 23:18 GMT on Monday

Ramón López – who is a collaborator with the Spanish Meteor Network – spotted a fiery blob in the sky as LauncherOne's second stage came crashing back to Earth along

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