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Virgin Orbit rocket launches seven US defense satellites

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Los Angeles (AP) — A Virgin Orbit rocket carrying a US Department of Defense satellite launched from a special Boeing 747 flying from the coast of Southern California, striped into space on Friday night. I did.

The modified jumbo jet took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in the Mojave Desert and launched a rocket over the Pacific Ocean in northwestern Los Angeles.

The launch was procured by the US Space Force for a Pentagon test program. The seven payloads perform various experiments.

This was Virgin Orbit's fourth commercial launch and its first night's launch. The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday night, but due to propellant temperature issues, the attempt was scrubbed.

Virgin Orbit named the mission "Straight Up" after the hit of Paula Abdul's debut studio album "Forever Your Girl" released on Virgin Records in 1988.

Virgin Orbit was founded in. 2017 British billionaire Richard Branson. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, it is currently launching from Mojave Airport but is planning an international mission.

Later this year, the company plans to launch two satellites on a mission to fly from Newquay Airport in Cornwall, England. The satellite will conduct a radio signal surveillance test in a joint project between the UK Ministry of Defense and the US National Reconnaissance General Bureau.