'Historic' UK Rocket Launch Ends in Failure

The UK’s first-ever space mission failed on Monday night, January 9, falling short of reaching its target orbit due to a rocket “anomaly”, Virgin Orbit said.

Virgin Orbit’s modified plane, a Boeing 747, carrying the LauncherOne rocket, took off from Spaceport Cornwall, in Newquay, after 10 pm on Monday night on its “historic” flight, Virgin Orbit said.

During the second stage of the launch, an “anomaly” prevented the rocket from reaching final orbit, “ending the mission prematurely”.

Footage by John Chinner shows the plane, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, taking off and landing on Monday night.

Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit CEO, said: "While we are very proud of the many things that we successfully achieved as part of this mission, we are mindful that we failed to provide our customers with the launch service they deserve.

“We will work tirelessly to understand the nature of the failure, make corrective actions, and return to orbit as soon as we have completed a full investigation and mission assurance process.” Credit: John Chinner via Storyful

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