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Virgin Orbit launched a rocket from a plane - here's how

By Simon Lindsay, Researcher in the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester
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Earlier this month, ten cubesats – small, cheap satellites weighing about a kilogram each – were sent into orbit around Earth. With almost 1,500 of these small satellites launched so far, adding another ten might seem trivial. But this was no ordinary launch.

Instead of lifting off from the ground, the rocket carrying these Nasa satellites was slung under the wing of a modified Boeing 747, called Cosmic Girl. The plane carried…


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