Virgin Orbit Maiden Launch Set for Sunday

Cosmic Girl with LauncherOne under its wing. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit will attempt to air launch its LauncherOne rocket for the first time on Sunday, CNBC reports.

The website says the company’s Cosmic Girl Boeing 747 will take off with the rocket under its wing from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California at 1 p.m. and head out to the Pacific Ocean.

Parabolic Arc will be in Mojave to cover the takeoff and landing. Look for updates on Twitter @spacecom.

LauncherOne ignites after being released from Cosmic Girl 747. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Orbit’s modified jumbo jet will fly over the Pacific Ocean and drop the rocket, which will ignite and head toward orbit.

It is not clear whether the rocket will have any satellites aboard. The second flight scheduled for later this year is scheduled to launch 10 CubeSats for NASA.

Cosmic Girl performs a pitch up maneuver during a flight test on April 12, 2020. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Virgin Orbit conducted a dress rehearsal of the launch last month near the Channel Islands.

Virgin Orbit is a spin-off company from Virgin Galactic, which plans to launch space tourists on suborbital flights later this year or in 2021.