The first rocket launch from UK soil is set to take place on Monday night.
Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne will embark on its Start Me Up mission after it is released from retired jumbo jet Cosmic Girl later this evening. Cosmic Girl will set off from Newquay, eight years after it was shortlisted as a potential spaceport site.
Spaceport Cornwall boss Melissa Thorpe said of the historic launch: “It is really hard to do – it is rocket science, and the longer we wait the more excited I get.
“It is going to feel so good and quite emotional for myself and my team when it does happen.”
Thousands are expected to gather in Cornwall to watch the jet take-off. It will then go on to release the rocket south of the coast of Ireland.
What time is the UK space launch?
The UK space launch is shortly before midnight at Newquay Airport in Cornwall. It is the first rocket launch from UK soil.
Where is Virgin Orbit launching from and where will it go?
Virgin Orbit’s jet, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, is launching from Spaceport Cornwall. It will fly for 35,000ft – about 10.5km – where the rocket will detach and blast off just off the coast of the Irish counties of Kerry and Cork and put nine satellites into orbit at an altitude of 555km.