A pioneering UK launch fails as a rocket fails to make it into space



The UK’s pioneering space launch failed and the rocket failed to reach orbit.

Virgin Orbit planned that the mission would be the first ever rocket launched from British soil, and would also carry the first satellites launched from Western Europe into space.

But the private launch company said the rocket suffered an “anomaly” and failed to reach orbit.

He did not provide details on what went wrong, leaving viewers to conclude that the rocket probably failed to successfully put the payload of satellites into orbit and they were likely destroyed instead.

“It appears we have an anomaly that has prevented us from reaching orbit,” the company said. “We are evaluating this information.”

A similar message appeared on the company’s official live stream. There, mission controllers were shown announcing an “anomaly” but gave no further information, and then the channel was cut off.

The company previously announced that the rocket had reached orbit and was awaiting final confirmation that its satellite payload was successfully deployed. Shortly after announcing the mission failed, he said he would delete the tweet and intended to “share more information as soon as possible.”

Virgin Orbit has already faced heavy criticism of its live stream from viewers who have complained about repetitive music, commentary errors and very few videos from the rocket itself.

But until the very end of the mission, the launch seemed to be a success – even until Virgin Orbit announced that the rocket had successfully reached space.

Virgin Orbit intended to launch the plane, named “Cosmic Girl”, with a rocket attached to its left wing. The plane then climbed to an altitude of 35,000 feet before releasing the rocket over the ocean near Ireland.

The mission seemed to be going according to plan until then. But some time after the rocket was “dropped” from the plane and began to ascend, Virgin Orbit announced that the mission had failed.

The aircraft and its crew of two pilots turned around and landed safely back at Cornwall Spaceport.

Politicians and Virgin Orbit itself wanted to hail the mission as not only pioneering in its own right, but also a groundbreaking part of Britain’s plan to become a space nation, with multiple spaceports across the country. Business Minister Grant Shapps appeared on Virgin Orbit’s live stream to promote the launch as part of the government’s plans for the future.

Virgin Orbit could also be hit hard by the outage, which is the latest in a series of problems. After being spun off from Richard Branson’s private space company Virgin Galactic in 2017, it went public last year – but its shares have since fallen 80 percent amid concerns about its financial situation and future.

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