The upper stage seems to have failed during the coast phase:
Virgin Orbit will be air-launching their LauncherOne rocket from the former Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl”.
It will be the first launch to orbit from western Europe – ever.
It is somewhat of a PR stunt, as a significant advantage of air-launched rockets is that they can launch from anywhere and reach a variety of different orbits. It would have been easier to transport the combined payload mass of 100 kg to their base at the Mojave Air and Space Port than bringing ground- and handling equipment plus crews to Spaceport Cornwall.
The company is part of Richard Branson’s universe of companies and the first launch for the newly established Spaceport. That alone can explain this launch.
Virgin Orbit is currently the only customer. It is expected to become a lot more crowded in the future. There is a whole smattering of European launchers about to become operational. Sierra Nevada’s “mini Space Shuttle” Dream Chaser will be using it as landing location as well.
Angry Astronaut: Just how important is today's Virgin Orbit launch? EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - UK Space Agency
Angry Astronaut: HIGH QUALITY!!! Virgin Orbit Press Conference from Spaceport Cornwall!! LAUNCH IN 24 HOURS!!
Note: Virgin Orbit is a different company than Virgin Galactic, which is offering sub-orbital space flights for passengers. Virgin Orbit is owned by Aabar Investments and the Virgin Group.
Stay up to date: virginorbit.com
Check your local time of launch at: www.timeanddate.com
Where to watch:
Virgin Orbit: Start Me Up Livestream
Angry Astronaut Stream: Live from Spaceport Cornwall With cosmic girl
Useful links to stay up to date on launches:
Spaceflightnow.com: Launch Schedule
Everyday Astronaut: Prelaunch Previews
NASA Spaceflight nasaspacefight.com
Vote for my witness: @blue-witness
Posted with STEMGeeks