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Virgin Orbit chooses Guam as base to send satellites into space

VIRGIN Orbit has chosen Guam as its launch site for the company's new commercial service that will take satellites into space, according to the governor's office

Virgin Orbit chooses Guam as base to send satellites into space

VIRGIN Orbit has chosen Guam as its launch site for the company's new commercial service that will take satellites into space, according to the governor's office

23 April 2019 - 19:00

VIRGIN Orbit has chosen Guam as its launch site for the company's new commercial service that will take satellites into space, according to the governor's office.

The US Air Force supports using Guam's Andersen Air Force Base to host launches and other exercises associated with Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne according to the governor's office, and the AB Won Pat Guam International Airport is seeking a launch site operator's licence from the US Federal Aviation Administration, reported Pacific Daily News.



The LauncherOne system sends payloads into space using a rocket attached to a modified Boeing 747. Guam is an excellent operations base for those flights because of its remote location and proximity to the equator, according to the governor's office, which said Lt Gov Josh Tenorio met with company officials in March.



'We are keen to partner with Virgin Orbit to generate a new space industry in Guam and advance our local economy as well as spur new STEM education opportunities for our youth to take us into the future,' said Gov Tenorio.



Launching from Guam will give Virgin Orbit easy access to the orbits its customers need, company CEO Dan Hart said in a written statement. 'With our air-launched system, we will fly out as any other airplane, move out to sea and release our rocket. Our minimal footprint coupled with Guam's natural launch location results in a great match.'



He said support from Guam and the company's military partners will provide new launch opportunities for small satellites. From Guam, the company can send a payload of 1,000 pounds into orbit 310 miles above the equator, according to the governor's office.


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