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Virgin Orbit Announces Next Launch, Dubbed 'Straight Up'

VORB

LauncherOne has arrived in Mojave Air and Space Port in preparation for upcoming launch

Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) has entered flight preparation mode for its forthcoming launch, Straight Up, that will support the United States Space Force’s STP-28A mission. After departing Virgin Orbit’s Long Beach rocket factory on Thursday, April 28, 2022, the rocket arrived at the Mojave Air and Space Port. It will support the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) and will carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program (STP).

Integration testing with airplane and ground equipment will take place followed by a full launch rehearsal and final mating to the customized 747 that serves as Virgin Orbit’s flying and fully re-usable launch pad and mobile mission control room. Launch is expected no earlier than June 29. The launch window is projected to open at 8 pm local time, representing the first night mission for the responsive launch company. The target orbit is approximately 500km above the Earth’s surface at 45 degrees inclination – an orbit that no other system has reached from the West Coast.

Playing a key role in the Straight Up launch will be the Virgin Orbit National Systems team, which has developed and provided services to the national security community, focused on defense and the protection of the United States and its allies through Virgin Orbit’s responsive space capabilities. To date, Virgin Orbit has launched three successful back-to-back launches, including eight DoD Science & Technology demonstrations across two flights.

The launch name, Straight Up, is inspired by American singer Paula Abdul’s breakthrough song Straight Up from her debut studio album Forever Your Girl. Released through Virgin Records on June 21,1988, it was the most successful debut album ever at the time of its release. The iconic dance-pop tune has remained Abdul’s biggest international hit to date.

“Virgin Orbit has been rising ‘straight up’ since we began commercial launch operations 18 months ago,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “More and more, we are seeing the importance of space to the security of the U.S. and allied countries. We are honored and committed to supporting the Space Force at this critical time.”

Mark Baird, President of the newly renamed Virgin Orbit National Systems (formerly VOX Space) added, “We believe this launch will demonstrate the significant maturation and operationalization of a unique capability. I’m excited to see Straight Up, wheels up.”

The Mission Manifest:

  • U.S. Space Force has procured this launch for the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP), with payloads provided by the DoD Space Test Program (STP).
  • The launch will carry seven satellites from multiple government agencies that are experiments intended to demonstrate novel modular satellite bus, space domain awareness, and adaptive radio frequency technologies.
  • The Straight Up launch will support the United States Space Force’s STP-28A mission. The contract to launch STP-28A was awarded to Virgin Orbit National Systems on April 2020 by the United States Space Force.

Launch Name: Straight Up
USSF Mission Number: STP-28A
Launch Site: Fully mobile LauncherOne system will conduct the flight from what is currently a bare concrete pad at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California
Target Orbit: Approximately 500km above the Earth’s surface at 45 degrees inclination
Launch Timing: No earlier than June 29, 2022
Launch Coverage: More information will be shared in the news over the coming weeks. Real time updates to be provided via social media and a public livestream.

ABOUT VIRGIN ORBIT

Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) operates one of the most flexible and responsive space launch systems ever built. Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, the company began commercial service in 2021, and has already delivered commercial, civil, national security, and international satellites into orbit. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and are air-launched from a modified 747-400 carrier aircraft that allows Virgin Orbit to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs. Learn more at www.virginorbit.com and visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @virginorbit, and on Instagram @virgin.orbit.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to the Company’s ability to access sources of capital; its ability to grow market share in the developing space economy; market acceptance of its current and planned products and services and ability to achieve sufficient production volumes, as well as the factors, risks and uncertainties included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 31, 2022, as well as in the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Information section of the Company’s website at www.virginorbit.com. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Virgin Orbit assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Virgin Orbit gives no assurance that it will achieve its expectations.



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