- Standard clamshell design
- 300-500kg — typical mass of satellites we deliver to orbit
- 35,000 ft — typical altitude at which we release the rocket from the pylon
- Second stage engine
- 6 min run time over multiple burns
- 5,000 lbf
- 17,500 mph — typical max speed
- ~70 ft in length
- ~57,000 lbs takeoff weight, payload included
- Two stage expendable rocket
All Carbon Structures
- All-carbon composite design, including linerless tanks, minimizes mass
- Composite components built in house, giving us full control over production quantity and timing
- First stage engine
- 3 min run time
- ~75,000 lbf
- 8,000 mph – typical max speed
The key to Virgin Orbit’s high rate of production is our vertically oriented approach combined with the close proximity of our engineering, manufacturing and payload processing operations. Centralizing our operations in Southern California has allowed us to dramatically reduce testing and development cycles relative to industry averages.
Thanks to a partnership with DMG Mori, Virgin Orbit is the proud owner of one of the first hybrid additive-subtractive manufacturing machines in the world. This revolutionary technology saves us months in production cycles, reducing the time to craft an engine thrust nozzle by an order of magnitude.
Cosmic Girl can take off from thousands of airports, but any rocket, even an air-launched one, has to meet rigorous safety standards. Our fully automated flight safety truly unlocks the flexibility only an air-launched system can deliver, as it allows us to safely expand our portfolio of launch locations.
We’ve been building, developing and improving LauncherOne since 2012, and after more than half a decade of real-world testing results, we think we’ve finally hit the sweet spot between our rocket’s size, cost and payload mass to orbit.
Hot-firing an engine on a test stand is the easy part. What's trickier is designing a rocket that is agile, precise, and most importantly, reliable. It’s true that we’re already thinking about what comes next in our development cycle — but we’re very proud of the capabilities LauncherOne brings to the market. We can’t wait to see the lasting positive effects of the orbital missions our launch service enables.
The path that eventually led to LauncherOne began with a simple observation: space is critical to all of our lives here on Earth, and yet we have limited our own exploitation of it. For small satellites especially, launches have been too expensive, too time-consuming and too inaccessible. It was obvious that the industry needed a dedicated small satellite launcher, and fast. So back in 2011, a small group of thinkers in Virgin Galactic’s Advanced Concepts team set out to find a solution…