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Gallery: Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne Rocket for Satellite Missions

An Air-Launched Rocket

Virgin Galactic

An artist's illustration of Virgin Orbit's 747 jumbo jet "Cosmic Girl" launching a LauncherOne rocket from high altitude. The air-launch system was originally a project of Virgin Galactic, which unveiled the rocket-toting carrier plane on Dec. 3, 2015. Virgin Orbit formed in 2017 and took over development.

Orbital Launches

Virgin Galactic

Artist's illustration of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne vehicle, which is designed to put small satellites into orbit for a relatively low cost.

LauncherOne Factory

Rod Pyle

Job seekers lined up at specialty stations inside Virgin Galactic's new LauncherOne facility, which opened in Long Beach, California, last Saturday. The crowd was estimated to be almost 7,000 strong.

Cosmic Girl Unveiling

Mark Chivers/VirginGalactic

Sir Richard Branson introduces LauncherOne to the world.

An Early Concept

Virgin Galactic

An early concept of LauncherOne called for it to be launched from Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo carrier planes just like the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.

An Early Concept

Virgin Galactic

Conceptual Illustration of WhiteKnightTwo mated with LauncherOne.

An Early Concept

Virgin Galactic

A concept illustration shows Virgin Galactic's LauncherOne rocket deploying beneath the WhiteKnightTwo mothership. Image released July 10, 2012.

WhiteKnightTwo Carries LauncherOne

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic carrier aircraft WhiteknightTwo carries LauncherOne.

WhiteKnightTwo with LauncherOne on the Runway

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic carrier aircraft WhiteknightTwo with LauncherOne

Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne Releasing Payload

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne releases its small satellite payload.

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Space.com Staff

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