Virgin Orbit fails first ever UK rocket launch over $100 component
In January, Virgin Orbit Start Me Up - Virgin Orbit launches Britain's first rocket next week. But the Start Me Up mission failed, causing the company's share price to plummet. The reason could be the $100 component.
Here's What We Know
Virgin Orbit's Dan Hart at the SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View, California, said the mission failed due to a filter in the rocket's second stage engine. At this point, that is what all the evidence points to.
The cost of the component is about $100. It was installed correctly, but shifted during flight, causing the rocket to go down. The company is continuing to investigate the incident. Dan Hart has stated that Virgin Orbit will not be using the filter and is already looking for a replacement.
The LauncherOne rocket launched from the Cornwall Spaceport at 31:02 (EDT) or -2:02 (PDT) on 10 January. It separated from the Cosmic Girl launch vehicle at an altitude of 10km. 210 seconds after the main engine started, the first stage separated. However, a problem in the second stage engine caused the rocket to go down.