Virgin Orbit Shows off its “Launcher One”, a Rocket Carried by an Airplane

Launcher One being maneuvered into position under Cosmic Girl. Image: Virgin Orbit

The commercial space sector is about to get a little more crowded. SpaceX and Blue Origin have created headlines with their ongoing development of reusable launch vehicles. Now Virgin Orbit‘s “Launcher One” is carving out its own niche in the commercial space market, as an efficient, flexible launcher of small satellites.

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Enterprise Arrives at the Big Apple

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Icons of America are captured together in a fantastic photo by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, taken on the morning of April 27, 2012 from Jersey City, NJ. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building… and Enterprise, the first space shuttle, seen as it was ferried toward its eventual new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

After several days of delays due to weather, the SCA with mounted Enterprise took off from Washington Dulles International Airport this morning.

Watch a video of Enterprise flying over New York here.

Enterprise was the first shuttle built for NASA. It was used to conduct test flights in the atmosphere and never flew into space, yet the data gathered from its experimental flights were integral to the development of the shuttle program.

Originally housed at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Enterprise will be demated from the SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) and placed on a barge that will travel on a 2-day trip up the Hudson to the Intrepid Museum on June 4.

Enterprise departs Dulles on Friday, April 27. (NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Mark Avino)
Enterprise over Manhattan, its future home seen below. (Click for description.) NASA/Robert Markowitz.

Enterprise will open for display to the public on July 19.

See more details on the Intrepid Museum’s website.