U.K. SPACE INDUSTRY MULLS SETBACK AFTER FAILED SATELLITE LAUNCH

Jan 10, 2023

By Jeremy Logan

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After the first attempt to launch satellites into orbit from the United Kingdom failed, British officials and space scientists say they are disappointed but not discouraged.

Virgin Orbit, which is based in the United States, attempted its first international launch late Monday, using a modified jumbo jet to transport a rocket from Cornwall in southwestern England across the Atlantic Ocean.

Following launch, the company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson stated that a “anomaly” prevented the rocket carrying nine satellites from reaching orbit.

The team was “feeling awful,” according to the head of Spaceport Cornwall, but they would get up and “go again.”

Despite its failure, the launch was described as a “big moment” by the U.K.’s business secretary.

The cause of the malfunction is being investigated.

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