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Virgin Orbit will make the first launch of its space rocket in the United Kingdom

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Virgin Orbit, the company of tycoon Richard Branson recently announced the possible launch of its first space rocket through its launch pad "Cosmic Girl" (its Boeing 747-400, registration N744VG), for this coming November in England.

The mission called 'Start Me Up', based on one of the hits of the British band Rolling Stones, will be the first mission from the United Kingdom, more specifically from the Cornwall Spaceport (NQY), in England. It will also be the first launch of these programs internationally and in Western Europe.

Let us remember that the four previous launches of the special rocket have been carried out in the United States, from the Mojave Air and Space Port, through the American subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, which participates jointly with the United States government agencies.

The mission is intended to continue testing launching rockets with payloads into the atmosphere. On this occasion, the exact date of the launch has not yet been detailed, however, this joint mission between the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), will focus on the first satellite launches encompassing a wide range of activities aimed at improving life on Earth, including reducing the environmental impact of production; prevent illegal trafficking, smuggling and terrorism; and a number of national security functions.

Virgin Orbit has been working closely with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the team at Spaceport Cornwall to make all the necessary preparations for takeoff.

‘Start Me Up’ is named after one of the most iconic British rock and roll bands of all time, the Rolling Stones. The hit song debuted on the 1981 album Tattoo You and was later released on Virgin Records' Forty Licks compilation in 2002.

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