It was the maiden voyage of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit rocket. Its purpose was to launch a test satellite into space and set the pace for further work on cementing a position in space-related activities. The new rocket was mounted beneath the left-wing of Cosmic Girl. That is the name assigned to the Boeing jumbo jet. However, even though it was a clean release from the aircraft, the crew decided to abort the mission.

They confirmed Cosmic Girl and the flight crew were safe and returning to base. The length of the rocket was 70 ft and was released over the Pacific Ocean.

The made-to-order plane Cosmic Girl had lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port in Los Angeles. The design of the rocket was such that it would initially fall for a few seconds. After a pre-determined time delay, the first of its two stages would ignite and speed it on its way towards the South Pole while the satellite would enter a low Earth orbit. However, that did not happen.

Sky News briefly explains the mission. Virgin Orbit expected the flight to help them collect and correlate data on various steps of the launch process.

The working satellite would be in a very low orbit. That would ensure fewer possibilities of generating space litter. During a pre-flight briefing, a senior official of Virgin Orbit mentioned that first rocket launches are not always successful. His words are - "History is not terribly kind, necessarily, to maiden flights."

Failure of Virgin Orbit’s rocket a temporary setback

Sir Richard Branson owns Virgin Orbit and he has his eyes on making a mark in his own way on space Travel.

Other individuals are also trying to tap into the potentials of this lucrative business venture.

Elon Musk is one of them. He owns SpaceX and has already built a platform to assist in activities related to space research. On the failure of Virgin Orbit’s rocket, he tweeted his feelings. He said - "Orbit is hard. Took us four attempts with Falcon 1."

Sky News said chief executive officer Dan Hart of Orbit had revealed that the team had conducted multiple tests, and held discussions to ensure that all aspects had been covered and the system was ready.

However, something did go wrong and the mission failed. As Murphy’s Law states - "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong."

This failure is a huge disappointment for the Orbit team who had been working on the LauncherOne rocket for five years. This will certainly disturb the plans of Sir Richard Branson. Anyway, there are some more rockets under construction and the company would continue its efforts to make a dent in the small satellite market. It seems the company has high-end customers like the Royal Air Force and the US Space Force.

Orbit says next rocket is waiting

According to BBC, Virgin Orbit has taken the failure of its rocket on debut in its stride. Such instances happen and Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart says – “Our next rocket is waiting.

We will learn, adjust, and begin preparing for our next test, which is coming up soon." The company will analyze the failure and be back in action soon. It already has a second rocket lined up. It is undergoing final integration at the company's Long Beach factory in California.

This second rocket could be ready to fly within weeks. Sir Richard Branson has focused his attention on the tourist plane he is developing. This is meant for those who can afford to pay and enjoy time in space and travel as a tourist. Many celebrities are in the list, waiting for space tourism to start.

Rocket is an integral part of space flight

The failure of the Virgin Orbit rocket is not strange, A Russian mission stumbled when its Soyuz rocket failed to dock at the International Space Station.

However, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX had blown up its Falcon 9 rocket to test its astronaut abort system. It was necessary to gain confidence. On the other hand, China has its Long March 5 rocket that could propel the country into the elite space club.