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Subject: Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit rocket fails on debut flight

Written By: Philip Eno on 05/26/20 at 5:56 am

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit company has tried unsuccessfully to launch a rocket over the Pacific Ocean. The booster was released from under the wing of one of the UK entrepreneur's old jumbos which had been specially converted for the task. The rocket ignited its engine seconds later but an anomaly meant the flight was terminated early. Virgin Orbit's goal is to try to capture a share of the emerging market for the launch of small satellites. It's not clear at this stage precisely what went wrong but the firm had warned beforehand that the chances of success might be only 50:50. The history of rocketry shows that maiden outings very often encounter technical problems.

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