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Virgin Orbit plans to send Cubesats to Mars as early as 2022



Virgin Orbit is a spin-off of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic dedicated to cost-effective small-scale projects. This new venture in the Virgin Orbit was reportedly inspired by NASA's recent InSight mission, in which two Cubesats were successfully sent to Mars. Now the company believes it can send its own similar spacecraft (weighing 1

10 pounds) into space with its LauncherOne rocket.

Once the Cubesats reach the planet, they can take photos, explore the atmosphere, or seek water. Finally, Virgin Orbit could investigate the moons of Mars, Venus, and "perhaps a few of the asteroid belts in the asteroid belt," said Will Pomerantz, vice president of special projects at Virgin Orbit, The Verge . 19659003] Virgin Orbit must first complete its LauncherOne rocket. The 70-foot-long rocket is dropped by Virgin Orbit's Boeing 747 carrier called "Cosmic Girl." The rocket is then fired from the air. LauncherOne has completed "captive carry" and drop tests, but has yet to complete his first test flight. The success of these Mars-based Cubesat missions will likely depend on LauncherOne.


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