Virgin Orbit fails on first attempt to launch a rocket attached to the wing of a Boeing 747

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Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit failed on its first attempt to launch a rocket into space from the wing of a Boeing 747 converted due to an “anomaly”, and was immediately sympathized by the rival entrepreneur Elon Musk.

The company confirmed on Monday that the first rocket flight over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California has failed.

The inaugural launch seemed to go well until a few moments after the rocket was dropped under the left wing of the jumbo jet dubbed Cosmic Girl.

Then an unidentified problem forced Branson’s company to stop the mission.

Musk jumped to console the crew and the company in a Twitter message – just days before trying to make history by sending the first American astronauts into space in almost a decade.

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit failed on its first attempt to launch a rocket attached to the wing of a Boeing 747 due to an `` anomaly ''. The time when the rocket was dropped from the aircraft is shown above.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit failed on its first attempt to launch a rocket attached to the wing of a Boeing 747 due to an “anomaly”. The time when the rocket was dropped from the aircraft is illustrated above.

The company confirmed on Monday that the first rocket flight (photo) over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California has failed

The company confirmed on Monday that the first rocket flight (photo) over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California has failed

Virgin Orbit announced Monday that the mission had failed on Twitter.

“We have confirmed a clear release of the aircraft. However, the mission ended soon after the flight. Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and are returning to base, ”reads.

There was no immediate word on what specifically went wrong, except that an “anomaly” had occurred soon after the engines were started.

“LauncherOne maintained its stability after its release and we switched on our first stage engine, NewtonThree. An anomaly then occurred at the start of the first leg flight, “Virgin Orbit tweeted.

“We will learn more as our engineers analyze the mountain of data we have collected today.

The company previously stated that the chances of a successful first flight are 50:50.

Will Pomerantz, Virgin Orbit vice president for special projects, said at a preflight briefing on Saturday that about half of the first rocket launches failed.

“The story is not terribly nice, necessarily, with the inaugural flights,” he said.

Cosmic Girl takes off above: there was no immediate word on what specifically happened, except that an `` anomaly '' had occurred shortly after the engines were started

Cosmic Girl takes off above: there was no immediate word on what specifically happened, except that an “anomaly” had occurred shortly after the engines were started

In the air: the company had previously declared that the chances of a first successful flight were 50:50

In the air: the company had previously declared that the chances of a first successful flight were 50:50

A close-up of the converted Boeing 747 with the LauncherOne rocket attached as it prepares to release it into the air for the first time

A close-up of the converted Boeing 747 with the LauncherOne rocket attached as it prepares to release it into the air for the first time

The Virgin Orbit Boeing 747-400 named Cosmic Girl is pictured taking off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles on Monday

The Virgin Orbit Boeing 747-400 named Cosmic Girl is pictured taking off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles on Monday

We see the rocket fall from the plane. Then an unidentified problem forced Branson's company to stop the mission

You can see the rocket falling from the plane. Then an unidentified problem forced Branson’s company to stop the mission

There was no immediate word on what had specifically gone wrong, except that an

There was no immediate word on what specifically went wrong, except that an “anomaly” had occurred shortly after the engines were started.

CEO Dan Hart said during the briefing that there were numerous tests, discussions and introspection to verify that the system was ready.

“In the end, the questions are always, everything has been thought of and are there gaps or seams, and these are the questions that you learn only when you commit to flying,” said Hart.

The highly modified jumbo jet took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles and took off just beyond the Channel Islands, where the fall occurred.

The highly modified jumbo jet is photographed from Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles

The highly modified jumbo jet is photographed from Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles

He then flew just beyond the Channel Islands, where the fall occurred

He then flew just beyond the Channel Islands, where the fall occurred

It was hoped that the rocket, which was transported in the sky on the wing of a Boeing 747 before being released, could one day be used to launch small satellites into space

It was hoped that the rocket, which was transported in the sky on the wing of a Boeing 747 before being released, could one day be used to launch small satellites into space

It was hoped that the rocket, which was transported in the sky on the wing of a Boeing 747, could one day be used to launch small satellites into space ranging from toasters to domestic refrigerators.

It was hoped that the rocket, which was transported in the sky on the wing of a Boeing 747, could one day be used to launch small satellites into space ranging from toasters to domestic refrigerators.

The rocket was supposed to fall for a few seconds before the first of its two engines ignited and propelled it over the coast toward the South Pole to enter a low Earth orbit.

The purpose of the flight was to collect data on each stage of the launch process rather than having a useful satellite in orbit.

It was hoped that the rocket, which was transported in the sky on the wing of a Boeing 747, could one day be used to launch small satellites into space ranging from toasters to domestic refrigerators.

A successful theft would have helped bring Branson’s space business closer to commercial operations and also marked a dramatic milestone in getting back on track after the coronavirus pandemic sent most employees home earlier this year when workspaces, procedures and mission control have been adjusted.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who launches the first nine astronauts into space from American soil on Wednesday as part of his own space company SpaceX, was one of the first to send his gossip after the failure of the Monday’s attempt.

‘Sorry to hear that. The orbit is difficult. It took us four attempts with Falcon 1, “he tweeted Monday, referring to SpaceX’s first rocket which failed spectacularly in just 25 seconds after its first takeoff.

The company confirmed on Monday that the first flight over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California has failed

The company confirmed on Monday that the first flight over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California has failed

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who plans to launch the first astronauts into space from American soil in nine years on Wednesday as part of his SpaceX venture, was one of the first to complain about the failure of attempt

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who plans to launch the first astronauts into space from American soil in nine years on Wednesday as part of his SpaceX venture, was one of the first to complain about the failure of attempt

Monday’s failed attempt comes after the company spent five years developing the 70-foot (21.3-meter) LauncherOne rocket.

He had already been delayed by a day On Sunday, the teams rushed to empty the fuel cartridges due to a faulty sensor.

Virgin Orbit said Sunday that the fault had been corrected and that the flight would continue the next day.

“Our team worked diligently to resolve the sensor problem and recycle the system,” he tweeted.

“We are now back in the countdown, and we are currently targeting another launch attempt tomorrow, with our window open again from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. UTC). “

The flight card illustrated above. The launch had already been delayed by a day as teams rushed to empty the fuel cartridges due to a faulty sensor on Sunday.

The flight card illustrated above. The launch had already been delayed by a day as teams rushed to empty the fuel cartridges due to a faulty sensor on Sunday.

It was hoped that the rocket could one day be used to launch satellites into space

It was hoped that the rocket could someday be used to launch satellites into space

Virgin Orbit then broadcast this image of its next rocket in the company's last integration zone as it waits for its turn to fly in space

Virgin Orbit then broadcast this image of its next rocket in the company’s final integration zone as it waits for its turn to fly into space

The crew heads for the plane on Monday. `` Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and are returning to base, '' Virgin Orbit said in its official Twitter comment on the launch after its failed attempt.

The crew heads for the plane on Monday. “Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and are returning to base,” said Virgin Orbit in its official Twitter comment on the launch after its failed attempt

Crew photographed aboard the Cosmic Girl. The company has already stated that the first flights have only a 50% chance of success

Crew photographed aboard the Cosmic Girl. The company has already stated that the first flights have only a 50% chance of success

It is unclear how long the setback will affect the company, which has six additional rockets under construction at its plant

It is unclear how long the setback will affect the company, which has six additional rockets under construction at its plant

Virgin Orbit says it has dozens of missions worth

Virgin Orbit says it has dozens of “hundreds of millions” worth of missions on the books for clients including the US Space Force and the Royal Air Force. Internationally, he works on launch projects in the United Kingdom and Japan

It is not known how long the setback will affect the company, which has six more rockets under construction at its plant.

Virgin Orbit says it has dozens of “hundreds of millions” worth of missions on the books for clients including the US Space Force and the Royal Air Force. Internationally, he works on launch projects in the United Kingdom and Japan.

The disappointing launch of Virgin Orbit comes just days after Branson dumped about $ 41 million in shares of sister company Virgin Galactic, founded to transport passengers on suborbital flights in the lower reaches of space purpose of recovering money to pump in his airline in difficulty.

The vehicle, designed to deliver small satellites into orbit, was scheduled to take off from the air and space port of Mojave, California on Sunday

The vehicle, designed to deliver small satellites into orbit, was scheduled to take off from the air and space port of Mojave, California on Sunday

The goal of the effort was to test that each part of the process works as expected once the launchers have reached operational status

The aim of the effort was to test that each part of the process works as expected once the launchers have reached operational status

LauncherOne rocket is pictured before its maiden flight as it approaches Cosmic Girl

LauncherOne rocket is pictured before its maiden flight as it approaches Cosmic Girl

An aerial photo of Cosmic Girl - the Boeing 747-400 from which the rocket was launched

An aerial photo of Cosmic Girl – the Boeing 747-400 from which the rocket was launched

Crew work to prepare the first flight. Sunday, Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit hoped to make history on Sunday with the first orbital test flight of his LauncherOne vehicle

Crew work to prepare the first flight. Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit on Sunday hoped to make history on Sunday with the first orbital test flight of his LauncherOne vehicle

Ground crew before Monday's launch failure. Disappointing Virgin Orbit launch comes just days after Branson dumped roughly $ 41 million worth of shares in sister company Virgin Galactic

Ground crew before Monday’s failed launch. Disappointing Virgin Orbit launch comes just days after Branson dumped roughly $ 41 million worth of shares in sister company Virgin Galactic

Vieco 10, an investment company owned by Virgin Group, abandoned nearly 2.6 million shares between May 14 and 15, representing nearly 2% of the capital of Virgin Galactic, according to a regulatory dossier last week .

Virgin Galactic shares fell 8.3% when the news was announced on May 11 that a sale was in the offing.

Branson had paved the way to sell up to half of its holdings in Virgin Galactic in order to raise funds for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

The airline was devastated by the pandemic, putting staff on compulsory leave without pay in the UK and announcing the loss of over 3,000 jobs.

Branson was criticized last month for asking the British government for a £ 500 million bailout for the troubled business when the entrepreneur owns a private island in the Caribbean.

He would also have laid off advisers to possibly manage an administration.

Disappointing launch comes just days after Branson (photo) dumped about $ 41 million worth of Virgin Galactic shares to inject money into his struggling airline

Disappointing launch comes just days after Branson (photo) dumped about $ 41 million in Virgin Galactic shares to inject cash into his struggling airline

THE BILLION SPACE RACE

Jeff Bezos in front of the Blue Origin space capsule

Jeff Bezos in front of the Blue Origin space capsule

Jeff Bezos’ space tourism project with Blue Origin competes with a similar program in development by Space X, the rocket firm founded and directed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic, supported by Richard Branson.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that it funds Blue Origin with approximately $ 1 billion (£ 720 million) in Amazon stocks each year.

The system consists of a pressurized crew capsule at the top of a “New Shepard” reusable booster rocket.

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and Blue Origin has successfully used just one New Shepard Rocket six times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometers), just above the official threshold of space and landed vertically seven minutes after takeoff.

Crew missions for astronauts and tourists have yet to be announced.

SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX launched a rocket to Mars orbit, 240 million kilometers away, with Musk’s own Tesla red roadster.

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts to board the first manned Dragon mission.

SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network.

Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected network of satellites around the Earth that will transmit free Internet to people around the world.

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic take a different approach to conquering space.

He has successfully and repeatedly performed test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity space plane.

The first took place in December 2018 and the last took place on February 22.

The flight accelerated to more than 2,000 miles an hour (Mach 2.7).

Over 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $ 250,000 (£ 200,000) seat for one of Virgin’s space trips,

The billionaire tycoon has already said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX.

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one on the side and one on the ceiling.

The spacecraft is 60 feet long with a 90-inch diameter cabin allowing maximum space for astronauts to float weightless.

It climbs 50,000 feet before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier, White Knight II, once it has crossed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become “astronauts” when they reach the Karman Line, the border of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The spacecraft will then make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with a total flight of approximately 1.5 hours.

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