The infrastructure and defence ambitions of Europe may eventually depend heavily on Virgin Orbit.
The business disclosed on October 18 that it has signed a letter of intent with the minister of defence of Luxembourg to investigate how Virgin Orbit could strengthen the resilience of NATO and ally nations.
The LauncherOne rocket, used by Virgin Orbit to launch satellites into orbit, is 70 feet (21 metres) tall and is dropped at a high altitude from a carrier aircraft. According to firm executives, this air-launch technology is adaptable and quick, enabling clients to quickly launch their payloads from a number of locations across the globe.
According to Virgin Orbit executives, NATO might profit from these features. The recently announced partnership will evaluate any potential benefits and determine how to effectively take advantage of them.
“In this initiative, Virgin Orbit will develop a plan for the development, delivery, mobilization and sustainment of LauncherOne ground support equipment and other responsive launch infrastructure that would be allocated for Allied use,” company representatives said in a statement.
“Through this collaboration, Virgin Orbit and the [Luxembourg] Directorate of Defence will engage with partners interested in leveraging this capability and determine the necessary operating constructs and requirements for delivering responsive launch infrastructure to Luxembourg that would allow Allied nations to conduct horizontal launches from a network of active and on-call spaceports in Europe,” they added.
NATO’s defensive mission, capabilities, and requirements have never been more apparent than they are now as a result of Russia’s protracted invasion of Ukraine. In order to better defend themselves against future Russian aggression, Sweden and Finland, for instance, have both recently asked to join NATO.
NATO’s defensive responsibility, capabilities, and requirements have never been more apparent than they are now as Russia’s protracted invasion of Ukraine has confirmed the need to better defend itself against future Russian aggression. Sweden and Finland, for instance, have both recently asked to join NATO.
Virgin Orbit has had four successful launches, all of which departed from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port. However, the business will soon broaden its geographic reach: Virgin Orbit is preparing for a launch from Spaceport Cornwall in England next month. The orbital mission will be the first one to launch from the UK.
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