The Virgin Orbit space agency was able to launch a liquid fuel rocket into space for the first time in the world, making a great mark in world history.
LauncherOne, a rocket owned by Virgin Orbit, a subsidiary of Virgin Galactic, was launched into space. The “Cosmic Girl” was responsible for launching the “Air Launch” in the air.
This was not a test flight. ELaNa (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) is a program affiliated with NASA.
ELaNa basically does the work of helping students involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and M mathematics) to fly their CubeSats. (CubeSats is a type of small satellite measuring 10cm x 10cm x 10cm. I will write about it separately)
So LauncherOne was entrusted with the task of launching 10 CubeSats under the 20th in this ELaNa mission.
These are the 10 CubeSats,
CACTUS-1 – Capitol Technology University, Laurel, Md.
CAPE-3 – University of Louisiana at Lafayette
EXOCUBE – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
MiTEE – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
PICS 1 – Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
PICS 2 – Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
PolarCube – University of Colorado at Boulder
Q-PACE – University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.
RadFXSat-2 – Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
TechEdSat-7 – NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Because of this, this whole mission has two names. Under Virgin Orbit this mission is called Launch Demo 2 and under NASA this mission is called ELaNa 20.
The Cosmic Girl is a specially designed Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The aircraft, which served as a passenger aircraft for Virgin Atlantic Airlines from 2001 to 2015, was purchased by Virgin Galactic and converted to Air Launches.
At 6.38 pm GMT, the Cosmic Girl carrying LauncherOne left the Mojave Air and Space Port in the US state of California for the Pacific Ocean. That is, west of America.
At an altitude of 30,000 feet, the Cosmic Girl launched LauncherOne in the Drop Zone, just a few miles southwest of the Channel Islands. It was 7.39pm Greenwich Mean Time.
LauncherOne, which sank freely for three seconds, was first ignited by the NewtonThree engine in the first section. After 3 minutes of burning, the first part was separated and removed.
The NewtonFour engine in the second part was then activated. Its first combustion lasted 6 minutes.
Shortly after the rocket escaped from Earth’s atmosphere and entered space, the two Fairings that protected the ten CubeSats escaped.
The rocket, which orbited for 46 minutes, returned to orbit after a second firing of 5 seconds and released ten CubeSats into Earth orbit at the appropriate time intervals.
Many believe that the Virgin Orbit will make a big difference in space with the success of LauncherOne, the world’s first launch of a liquid – fueled rocket from space.