Belfast Telegraph

Virgin Galactic satellite launch venture becomes Virgin Orbit

Virgin Galactic's California-based small satellite launch provider is now a separate company.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said the new company, which has its headquarters in Long Beach, is called Virgin Orbit.

The company has been developing an air-launch system for small satellites called LauncherOne.

The LauncherOne rockets will be released from a Boeing 747 jet named Cosmic Girl.

Virgin Orbit said it already has substantial launch orders for the system, which is in an advanced phase of hardware testing.

The new company's first president is veteran aerospace executive Dan Hart.

He was formerly Boeing's vice president of government satellite systems.