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Virgin Orbit first UK launch fails
Posted: Sun, Jan 15, 2023, 11:21 AM ET (1621 GMT)
Virgin Orbit's first launch from the United Kingdom failed Monday. Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket was released from its Boeing 747 aircraft at about 6:11 pm EST (2311 GMT), a little more than an hour after the plane took off from England's Spaceport Cornwall. Despite glitches in the live telemetry from the rocket during the launch webcast, Virgin Orbit said the rocket reached orbit, only to withdraw that claim a half-hour later, announcing than an unspecified anomaly with the second stage prevented it from reaching orbit. The rocket, on the "Start Me Up" mission, was carrying nine smallsats for government and commercial customers, and was the first orbital launch attempt from the U.K. The failure came after four consecutive successful LauncherOne missions over the past two years. Shares in Virgin Orbit tumbled as much as 25% in after-hours trading Monday.
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