Space Commerce

Virgin Orbit Receives U.K.’s First Orbital Launch License; All LauncherOne Systems Green for Upcoming Mission

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Virgin Orbit
December 22, 2022
Virgin Orbit Receives U.K.’s First Orbital Launch License; All LauncherOne Systems Green for Upcoming Mission
Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority has issued launch and range control licenses to Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) to undertake the first satellite launch from UK soil.

The granting of these licenses represents a major step forward for the historic Start Me Up mission, and reflects the CAA’s concurrence that all reasonable steps have been taken by Virgin Orbit to ensure the desired safety, security, and environmental stewardship of what is expected to be the first orbital launch ever conducted from western Europe.

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system is currently at Spaceport Cornwall in the U.K. and preparing to roll out to mate to its 747-400 carrier aircraft for final launch rehearsals and, ultimately, for the Start Me Up mission itself. In the past week, Virgin Orbit’s engineering and technician team has re-established and verified the system’s health and readiness for spaceflight. Working with the mission’s payload customers, batteries onboard several satellites were re-charged late last week, keeping the nine satellites on the manifest in good condition to launch to orbit and begin operations.

With these licenses in hand, Virgin Orbit is now working in close collaboration across all mission stakeholders with the aim of opening the first orbital launch window in western European history, targeting a window start date in the coming weeks.

In the words of our CEO, Dan Hart, “Receiving Virgin Orbit’s range and launch licenses takes us one step closer to the first satellite launch take-off from U.K. soil. This is a major milestone for the CAA, and represents the successful completion of an enormous effort, which has included the construction of new regulations, new processes, and new teams.

“At this time, all of Virgin Orbit’s systems are green for launch. Our team is laser-focused on execution of final checkouts, launch rehearsal, and ultimately launch, and we will continue working with our friends and partners across agencies and governments to be ready to light this candle once a launch window is finalized.”

ABOUT VIRGIN ORBIT

Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc (Nasdaq: VORB) operates one of the most flexible and responsive space launch systems ever built. Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, the Company began commercial service in 2021, and has already delivered commercial, civil, national security, and international satellites into orbit. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and are air-launched from a modified 747-400 carrier aircraft that allows Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs. Learn more at www.virginorbit.com and visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @virginorbit, and on Instagram @virgin.orbit.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to the Company’s ability to access sources of capital; its ability to grow market share in the developing space economy; market acceptance of its current and planned products and services and ability to achieve sufficient production volumes, as well as the factors, risks and uncertainties included in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2022, as well as in the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Information section of the Company’s website at www.virginorbit.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc gives no assurance that it will achieve its expectations.

Contacts
MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Alison Patch
Sr. Dir. of Communications, Virgin Orbit
+1-949-616-2504
[email protected]

Matt Shelnutt
PR Specialist, 4media
+1- 479-236-3468
[email protected]

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.