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First test launch by Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit postponed

by Ace Damon
First test launch by Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit postponed

MOJAVE, CALIF. –
Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit postponed its first space launch on Sunday due to a technical problem.

The company said a sensor was "working" and fuel was being discharged from the rocket in Mojave, California, to resolve what it called a minor problem.

"It means that we are washed for today," he said in his social media post.

A backup launch window was available on Monday morning, but the company did not immediately announce its revised plan for the inaugural use of its air launch system.

The Virgin Orbit rocket is loaded under the wing of a Boeing 747 that will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles and fly over the Pacific Ocean.

The rocket will launch and its engine will start a few seconds later to propel a fictional satellite in low earth orbit.

Virgin Orbit, based in Long Beach, California, is a sister company to Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company that is preparing to transport passengers on suborbital flights over New Mexico.

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