EXOLAUNCH Payloads to be Lifted High by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne

EXOLAUNCH and Virgin Orbit have signed an MOU for transporting EXOLAUNCH customers’ payloads on dedicated and rideshare missions with Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne, as early as 2020.

Founder Sir Richard Branson created Virgin Orbit to be the world’s premier smallsat launch service, providing dedicated launches to any LEO at any inclination. Using an air-launch approach from a 747 carrier aircraft, Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is the world’s most flexible launch service and can carry payloads up to 500 kg. LauncherOne’s frequent launch cadence will provide EXOLAUNCH customers with regular flight opportunities and schedule flexibility. EXOLAUNCH’s global clientele will receive the agility that a small launch vehicle affords as well as benefit from Virgin Orbit’s elevated customer experience.

Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl launcher 747 with LauncherOne rocket nestled underneath the aircraft’s fusilage.

EXOLAUNCH, whose current customers include a wide range of the European and North American NewSpace startups, universities, scientific institutions and space agencies, has a long and successful flight heritage in arranging smallsat launches. Focusing specifically on small satellite launch services, cluster technical integration, and mission management since the dawn of the newspace era has made them preferred experts in the industry and in 2019 alone they are contracted to deliver more than 60 small satellites into orbit.

Jeanne Medvedeva, Launch Services Commercial Director at EXOLAUNCH, said Virgin Orbit and EXOLAUNCH share a core belief in customer experience and viable launch services. For the company’s smallsat customers predominantly from Europe, Virgin Orbit will provide frequent and easy access to space out of the U.S. to reach a wide range of orbits, and EXOLAUNCH will provide diverse smallsat clusters adapted through the firm’s separation systems to the upcoming missions of LauncherOne.

Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart added that Virgin Orbit and EXOLAUNCH are naturally aligned in their ambitions to launch the global smallsat revolution, which necessitates low-cost, high-frequency access to space. Europe is on the cutting edge of science and technology when it comes to smallsats, and Virgin Orbit s motivated to provide the firm’s unique launch capabilities to this rapidly growing market.

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