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Here’s what Virgin Orbit hopes to achieve with their first full orbital test launch on Sunday

Virgin Orbit held a press briefing on Saturday hosted by CEO Dan Hart and VP of Special Projects Will Pomerantz. The company aims to fly its first ever orbital test launch on Sunday, at roughly 9:30 AM PT (12:30 PM ET), though there’s flexibility for that to move depending on preparations and weather. If it succeeds with this test, it’ll join an elite club of private spaceflight companies that have actually made it to orbit – but that’s not the only measure of success for Virgin for tomorrow’s test run.
Hart and Pomerantz took journalists through the flight plan and different scenarios of what could happen, tempering expectations by reminding those on the call that “about half” of a company’s first full flights fail. While Pomerantz pointed out the failure rate, he was also quick to note that he’s extremely proud of the work the Virgin Orbit team has done to date, and has confidence in their skill sand abilities.
“You essentially get to a point where you have looked under every rock and verify that there’s nothing more for you to do to verify that the system is ready,” Pomerantz said. “That’s what we have done. We’ve ygone through an enormous amount of tests, we’ve essentially done everything that we can think of that we should do including fill the rocket up with cryogenics and fuel and pressure and and fly it out to the drop.”
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