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Virgin Orbit is a company within the Virgin Group which plans to provide launch services for small satellites. The company was formed in 2017 to develop the air-launched LauncherOne rocket, launched from Cosmic Girl, which had previously been a project of Virgin Galactic.[2] Based in Long Beach, California, Virgin Orbit has more than 300 employees led by president Dan Hart, a former vice president of government satellite systems at Boeing.[3][4]

Virgin Orbit
PredecessorVirgin Galactic
FoundedMarch 2, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-03-02)
United States
Key people
Dan Hart [1] (President and CEO)
ServicesOrbital rocket launch
Number of employees
390 (2017)

Virgin Orbit focuses on small satellite launch, which is one of three capabilities being focused on by Virgin Galactic. These capabilities are: human spaceflight operations, small satellite launch, and advanced aerospace design, manufacturing, and test.[5]



Cosmic GirlEdit


In October 2019, Virgin Orbit announced that Matthew Stannard was joining as a pilot on a three year contract. Stannard had previously served in the Royal Air Force as a test and evaluation pilot notably on Typhoon jets. Orbit is about to start testing of its Cosmic Girl launch platform.[6]


  1. ^ Fernholz, Tim (June 13, 2017). "Virgin Orbit's newly-minted CEO will use psychology to launch satellites faster than anyone else". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  2. ^ Irene Klotz (2 March 2017). "Virgin Galactic Unveils Spin-Off Virgin Orbit for Small-Satellite Launches".
  3. ^ Davenport, Christian (March 2, 2017). "Richard Branson starting a new venture dedicated to launching small satellites into space". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  4. ^ "Virgin Galactic Makes Satellite Launch Service New Company". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. March 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  5. ^ "Welcome, Virgin Orbit!". Virgin Galactic. Virgin Galactic. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ Virgin Orbit selects RAF pilot as it plans satellite launch program, Ed Adamczyk, SpaceDaily, 2019-10-04

External linksEdit