Gallery: Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne Rocket for Satellite Missions

Meet Cosmic Girl and LauncherOne

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit, founded by Sir Richard Branson, is a company that aims to use a modified 747 jumbo jet to launch small satellites into orbit using its novel LauncherOne booster as seen in this illustration. See how Virgin Orbit, a cousin to Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic, will work in the photos here. [New images added Oct. 26, 2018]

Have Rocket, Will Travel

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket was mated to its carrier aircraft, a modified 747 known as Cosmic Girl, for the first time on Oct. 24, 2018, at Long Beach Airport. Read our full story on the milestone here!

LauncherOne's attachment point

Virgin Orbit

A closeup of LauncherOne's attachment point.

Loading Up LauncherOne

Virgin Orbit

LauncherOne moves into position for attachment to Cosmic Girl.

Sir Richard Branson in Cosmic Girl

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson inside Cosmic Girl, the modified 747 that will carry the LauncherOne rocket aloft.

Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket system

Virgin Orbit

A Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket is moved by truck near the company's Long Beach, California, headquarters for testing recently. The company is planning a captive carry test of the system in early July.

Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl

Virgin Orbit

"Cosmic Girl," a 747-400 aircraft is being modified to launch rockets into space for Virgin Orbital. Here, the aircraft arrives in Long Beach, where the company is headquartered.

Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl

Virgin Orbit

Inside Cosmic Girl's cockpit: (l to r) Virgin Oribt CEO Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit pilot Kelly Latimer, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl with pylon

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit's Boeing 747, named "Cosmic Girl," is seen here with the pylon fitted to its left wing that LauncherOne rockets will attach to for the company's air-launch missions.

Cosmic Girl Unveiling

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and pilot Kelly Latimer pose for a photo during the Dec. 3 unveiling of the company's Cosmic Girl jet, a carrier plane for its LauncherOne rocket.

Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit employees toast the arrival of Cosmic Girl in Long Beach.

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