TWIRL 99: Virgin Orbit to launch LauncherOne from UK


Paul Hill


Jan 7, 2023 21:12 EST

With Christmas and the New Year over, rocket launches are back in full swing. On Monday, we’ll see Virgin Orbit launch its Cosmic Girl aircraft from Cornwall in the UK before launching the LauncherOne rocket into the air. The event is notable for Britain as plans to launch rockets from the country have been in the works for years and are now finally starting to happen.

Launcher and TWIRL logos

Monday, January 9

  • The first mission we have on Monday will be SpaceX launching a Falcon 9 that will carry the OneWeb satellites into orbit. For those who read last week’s edition of TWIRL, this is the same mission that was reported back then but seems to have been delayed. OneWeb is similar to SpaceX in that it is deploying a constellation of Internet-enabled satellites, however, it does not have rockets to orbit the satellites, so it relies on other governments and companies to support SpaceX. do like The mission will launch from Cape Canaveral at 4:55 am UTC and will be available to stream on SpaceX website.
  • The second mission of the day will begin just five minutes later from the last but not the other side of the world. A private Chinese firm, Galactic Energy, will launch its Ceres-1 rocket carrying several satellites, including the Xiamen SciTech 1. The mission will be known as Give Me Five and will be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 5:00 a.m. UTC.
  • Finally, Virgin Orbit will launch Launcher One, known as Cosmic Girl, from its Boeing 747. It’s carrying multiple payloads into orbit but what’s really remarkable about this mission is that it’s taking off from Cornwall in the UK. Talk of a UK spaceport has been around for years but it looks like a launch is now underway. The launch is between 10:16pm UTC and 12:16pm UTC, and tickets for the event are sold out. According to BBC News. The launch can be seen. Virgin Orbit website.

Friday 12 January

  • The final mission of the week will see SpaceX launch its Falcon Heavy carrying the USSF-67 mission for the US Space Force. The mission will launch the Continuous Broadcast Enhancement SATCOM (CBAS 2) military communications satellite and the LDPE 3a rideshare satellite that hosts several experimental payloads. The mission will take off from Florida at 10:30 PM UTC and can be streamed on SpaceX’s website.


  • The only launch we saw last week was a Falcon 9 from SpaceX carrying several small satellites as part of the Transporter-6 rideshare mission.

That’s it for this week, check in next time!

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