Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

Virgin Launch
AP Photo/Matt Hartman

By John Antczak, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP)– Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit has failed in its first attempt to launch a test satellite into space aboard a rocket carried aloft by a Boeing 747 and released over the ocean off Southern California.

The inaugural launch had appeared to be going well Monday until moments after the rocket was dropped from beneath the left wing of the jumbo jet dubbed Cosmic Girl.

The company tweeted it was a clean release but the “mission terminated shortly into flight.”

There’s no immediate word on what went wrong. Virgin Orbit says the Boeing 747 and its crew are safe and returning to base.

©The Associated Press 2020

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