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ЦитатаReturn to Flight: Launch Demo 2 | Virgin Orbit Virgin Orbit14 окт. 2020 г.Our team has really been on their A-game, putting in an incredible amount of work to move quickly and efficiently through the biggest milestones on the path to our second launch demonstration. Hear directly from some of our technical leaders on how we've matured this year, and what exactly we've been up to since our last flight with LauncherOne!
ЦитатаLaunch Demo 2: October UpdateOctober 14, 2020 Featured/Technical UpdatesJust three years after Virgin Orbit was born as a company, we took to the skies to conduct our very first Launch Demo with LauncherOne. During that demo, we proved out all of the key technologies for a new kind of launch technology: liquid-fueled air-launch. With the first launch just a few months behind us, we are now smartly driving down the path to Launch Demo 2, which our incredibly talented and determined team is targeting to complete before the end of the year.That's a pretty quick turnaround by industry standards -- so how'd we manage that? Well, the simple answer is that our second launch rocket was already in assembly when the first one flew, along with several other rockets in flow at our state-of-the-art rocket production facility. After all, one launch can make history, but it's just the beginning. It takes a whole lot more to create a launch service.Our team has really risen to the occasion in recent months, doing the necessary work and driving forward at a best-in-industry pace -- despite the unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic that has changed everything about the way we all live and work.Recent MilestonesThe rocket we will use for Launch Demo 2 shipped out of the factory in late August. After making the short trip up to Mojave Air and Spaceport, that rocket was fitted to a test stand built to emulate Cosmic Girl's left wing. There, our team hooked up our mobile ground support trailers and conducted a number of checkouts and tests, including fully loading the rocket with propellants like cryogenic liquid oxygen to verify the health of all rocket systems. The test was a major success, and the operation, which resembled a full countdown, benefited hugely from our operational refinements: completing cryo load was a much faster and much smoother process compared to the first time around earlier this year.We saw a similar quantum leap with the other build and test series we recently completed: the acceptance testing (ATP) campaign for our main stage ("NewtonThree") engine. Main stage propulsion is a big task for any rocket and any launch, and given the knowledge that we gained from our first Launch Demo, this milestone took on even more importance. But we got through it extremely quickly: work that took us two months to complete just one launch ago was finished in just two weeks this past September.Our team is better prepared, our hardware is better manufactured, all of our procedures, scripts, and tools are in launch-ready shape -- and all of that hard work is paying off big time.You can hear directly from our technical leaders on what we've been up to since our last flight:youtu.be/r7figg6NPg0 What's Next?Today, both rocket and engine are back down in our Long Beach HQ for final integration. Our NewtonFour upper stage engine is already fully tested and installed, and our NewtonThree engine and a few other bits of flight hardware will join the party in the coming days. We're preparing for the big move -- packing up the rocket and the mobile trailers and transiting everything back to the "hammerhead" at Mojave Air and Space Port -- a bare spot at the end of a taxiway (which is all we really require in a launch site). That's where we'll mate LauncherOne to Cosmic Girl's wing just before we fly.Here's a glimpse of all of the major campaigns we planned out in between our first Launch Demo in late May and our upcoming flight.As you'll see, we are moving steadily forward. We're not done yet, but every day brings more progress, and we're keeping our nose to the grindstone so that we can maintain this momentum.This week, we're taking another exciting step forward. Yesterday, for the first time in our company's short history, customers arrived at our facility to begin processing their spacecraft for launch!Thanks to COVID-19 everything looks a little different than we'd imagined, to be sure. But we've worked with NASA and with our payload teams to find safe ways for teams to conduct this work in our beautiful new payload processing facility, called Nebula.While they're on-site this week, we'll work with each team to complete a final round of analysis and testing before finally integrating their payloads into the fairing. The fairing will then be shipped up to Mojave, where we'll do the final mate to the rocket in our unique mobile cleanroom. Though our focus has been squarely on preparing for Launch Demo 2 and on welcoming our customers and their spacecraft, our other projects continue to make steady progress. Recently, we participated as the sole space launch provider in one of the biggest military training exercises of all time, demonstrating how a country could very quickly replace a satellite that had been interfered with by an adversary. We have also updated our Service Guide to better set up our customers for success as they plan their missions with LauncherOne. And in parallel to all of that, we're also preparing the hardware we'll use on the four flights that follow LD2.None of this work is ever easy -- even in a normal world, much less in the odd world we're all living in 2020. But the work is worth doing, and it can be done well with the right team, the right tools, and the right experience. We're excited about what we've done, and fired up about what comes next. The team working hard to pull off our second Launch Demo prior to the holidays, and we'll keep you all updated every step of the way.
ЦитатаELaNa 20Date: TBDMission: Virgin Orbit, LauncherOne - Mojave, California10 CubeSat Missions scheduled to be deployedPolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, ColoradoMiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MichiganCACTUS-1 - Capitol Technology University, Laurel, MarylandQ-PACE - University of Central Florida, Orlando, FloridaTechEdSat-7 - NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CaliforniaRadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeEXOCUBE - California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaCAPE-3 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LouisianaPICS - Brigham Young University, Provo, UtahINCA - New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
ЦитатаOct. 15, 2020ELaNa 20 CubeSat Mission Teams Complete Prelaunch Prep with Virgin OrbitMembers of the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) 20 mission teams completed final preparations of their respective CubeSats inside Virgin Orbit's payload processing facility in Long Beach, California, on Oct. 12, 2020. Shown above is the MiTEE payload, developed by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. These small satellites are part of NASA's ELaNa 20 payload complement, targeted to launch on the company's Launch Demo 2 mission before the end of the year.Installation of the ELaNa 20 CubeSats within their dispensers clears the way for installation of the payload fairing of the company's LauncherOne rocket. The integrated payload fairing assembly will then be shipped to the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, where it will be mated to the rocket in the company's mobile cleanroom. LauncherOne will then be attached below the wing of Virgin Orbit's carrier aircraft, "Cosmic Girl," and carried aloft for launch after taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.The agency's ELaNa 20 mission comprises eight NASA-sponsored CubeSats selected by the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and developed by educational institutions across the United States as well as NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. CubeSats launching on ELaNa 20 are:PolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, ColoradoMiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann ArborCACTUS-1 - Capitol Technology University, Laurel, MarylandQ-PACE - University of Central Florida, OrlandoTechEdSat-7 - NASA's Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, CaliforniaRadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeEXOCUBE-2 - California Polytechnic University, San Luis ObispoCAPE-3 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LouisianaPICS - Brigham Young University, Provo, UtahCSLI provides launch opportunities for small payloads that hitch rides with planned spaceflight missions led by NASA, other U.S. government agencies, or commercial organizations. ELaNa missions are facilitated by the agency's Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Through CSLI, NASA provides CubeSat developers at universities, high schools, non-profit organizations, and NASA centers and programs a low-cost pathway to conduct scientific investigations and technology demonstrations in space. This enables students, teachers, and faculty to obtain hands-on flight hardware development experience.Photo credit: Virgin Orbit/Greg RobinsonLast Updated: Oct. 16, 2020Editor: Anna Heiney
Цитата BYU Spacecraft Group @byuspacecraft 27 окт.@BYU's first #satellites, the Passive Inspection CubeSats, are officially installed into @Virgin_Orbit LauncherOne release system. We're beyond excited to see our hard work come to fruition as our satellites get launched and perform their mission! @byu_flu@NASA 27 окт.The Passive Inspection CubeSats Mission is to snap some pictures of LauncherOne's upper stage after it released them and they float away. They'll also be capable of capturing 360° VR images in space!#cubesats #collegeengineering #space #collegelife #engineering #electronics #vr