PARIS (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit announced today that commercial satellite developer Cloud Constellation Corporation has selected the LauncherOne service for deployment of the SpaceBelt™ constellation of space-based cloud storage data centers.
In an agreement signed by executives from the two firms at the World Satellite Business Week event in Paris, Cloud Constellation selected Virgin Orbit as its launch partner for a dozen satellites that will become the communications backbone of the SpaceBelt system.
SpaceBelt will provide a truly secure and global data storage network based in space. Users of the system will be able to transport and/or store large blocks of data quickly and securely without exposure to any terrestrial communications infrastructure, protecting their critical data from unauthorized access while supporting global communications at reduced latency of today’s multi-hop networks.
The initial deployment of the SpaceBelt network will be powered by a dozen ~400 kilogram satellites placed into low inclination orbits. Taking full advantage of LauncherOne as a dedicated launch service for small satellites and as a uniquely flexible service enabled by air-launch, the SpaceBelt constellation will be deployed using single-manifested launches occurring in rapid sequence. The initial launch is expected to occur as early as 2019.
Cloud Constellation President Cliff Beek: “The LauncherOne system was literally designed for companies and missions like ours. We are offering our customers a highly reliable, highly flexible service–and the team at Virgin Orbit are supplying us with exactly those same values in turn. LauncherOne is a critical enabler of our mission.”
Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart: “We’re thrilled to have been selected to deploy the SpaceBelt constellation. The work that SpaceBelt will do is a great example of the revolutionary capabilities that are coming with the sharp rise of small satellite manufacturing, business, and launch. These missions wouldn’t have been possible even a few short years ago. Now, innovators working for creative companies can develop an idea like SpaceBelt, get it to orbit, and achieve profitability within a very short period of time.”
Virgin Orbit is currently in the process of qualification and test flight for the LauncherOne service, which includes both a two-stage expendable rocket and a fully-reusable air-launch platform. The company recently completed assembly of a complete pathfinder rocket at its factory in Long Beach, CA; and the system’s 747-400 flying launch pad has begun its flight test campaign. The system is designed to provide highly responsive, reliable, and affordable flights to Low Earth Orbit to small satellites. The initial flight of the LauncherOne system is targeted for the first half of 2018.
About Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit provides dedicated, responsive, and affordable launch services for small satellites. Like its sister companies–Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company–Virgin Orbit was founded by Sir Richard Branson and is owned by the Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS. To launch the small satellite revolution, Virgin Orbit is developing LauncherOne, a flexible launch service for commercial and government-built satellites. LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and will be air-launched from a dedicated 747-400 carrier aircraft capable of operating from many locations in order to best serve each customer’s needs. Virgin Orbit’s systems are currently in an advanced stage of testing, with initial orbital launches expected soon. To learn more or to apply to join Virgin Orbit’s talented and growing team, visit virginorbit.com.
About Cloud Constellation Corporation
Cloud Constellation’s SpaceBelt is a patented high-speed global platform for applications that include cloud storage and global transmission of delivery around the world. Additional information is available at www.spacebelt.com.