Mojave Journal: Oh Boy, Virgin Orbit Now Gets to Test Rockets at Night

As a Mojave resident, I can’t say I’m real thrilled by this change. It’s noisy enough around here during the day, what with the airplanes, rocket tests, sonic booms from Edwards, freight trains, the highway that runs through the middle of town, and random explosions from God knows what. The town’s got enough problems; why add to them?


  • Jimmy S. Overly

    Their Instagram page explains this is a Newton4 (upper stage) engine firing. Seems like the Virgin Orbit team is making good progress.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    By the time you read this, Richard Branson may be dead or seriously injured in the Virgin Islands.
    Hurricanes don’t respect space tourism or launch sites.

  • Douglas Messier

    He’ll probably be OK. He’s already milked the hurricane for as much publicity as he can just by deciding to stay. If he survives, he’ll have great stories to tell. If not….that’ll be an even bigger story.

  • redneck

    I plan to “ride out” Irma in an above ground tornado shelter on high ground with a good supply of food and water. Quite different than those riding it out in whatever conventional structure they have available. I have more options than some, but billionaires have options out the wazoo. He is perfectly safe unless he does something really stupid.

  • patb2009

    That sounds like it’s a pumped engine.

  • ThomasLMatula

    The real question is how well SpaceX will ride it out if it sweeps over the Cape. They have a lot of assets at risk.

  • Douglas Messier

    Relax everyone. Branson is fine. He rode out the storm in his wine cellar.

  • Jeff Greason

    Not to worry; engines have been tested in Mojave at night since at least 2001 by others.

  • randy carson
  • redneck

    True, depends on the level of wind their structures can handle. And how many vulnerable assets are out in it.

  • Jeff2Space

    Because Virgin is way behind on engine development?