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Unique satellite launch from rocket carried off of California Coast by jumbo jet called a success

This Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket successfully carried seven satellites into orbit Thursday.
Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit rocket propels seven military and civilian satellites into orbit.

A unique mission to launch some satellites into orbit off the California Coast is being called a success. Instead of taking off from a traditional launch pad, the rocket was launched from a jumbo jet.

Virgin Orbit’s converted 747 airliner carrying the “Launcher One” rocket took off from the Mojave Desert Thursday afternoon. The rocket was under one of the plane’s wings. It was released at about 35,000 feet, taking seven small satellites into orbit.

It’s the third successful flight for the Virgin Orbit program, which has now put more than two dozen satellites into orbit.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.