Virgin Orbit Launches Rocket Carrying Satellites From Wing of 747

Virgin Orbit successfully launched a rocket carrying 10 small satellites from below the wing of a converted Boeing 747 over the Pacific Ocean on January 17.

The process of launching a rocket into orbit from a plane, and not from the ground, known as “air launch”, is described by Virgin Orbit as “the world’s most flexible and responsive launch service.”

The satellites were selected by NASA, with many of them constructed by universities across the US.

This footage shows two angles of Virgin’s LauncherOne rocket being released from the aircraft’s wing, before igniting and accelerating into the distance. Credit: Virgin Orbit via Storyful