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UK’s attempt to launch satellites into space is thwarted by an “anomaly”

UK’s attempt to launch satellites into space is thwarted by an “anomaly”

UK’s attempt to launch satellites into space is thwarted by an “anomaly”

UK’s attempt to launch satellites into space is thwarted by an “anomaly.”

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  • Due to an “anomaly” European satellite launches appears to fail.
  • The converted jumbo jet took off from the coastal town of Newquay.
  • More than 2,000 space fans had gathered to cheer.
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The first Western European satellite launch appears to have failed due to an “anomaly” that stopped the rocket from reaching orbit.

Virgin Orbit, a consortium led by the UK Orbit Agency and British airline tycoon Richard Branson, was attempting to launch nine tiny satellites into space from a 70-foot (21-meter) rocket fitted to the wing of a modified Boeing 747.

The converted jumbo jet took off from the coastal town of Newquay in southwest England at 22:02 GMT on Monday.

After detaching from the airplane, the rocket ignited about an hour and a half later, over the Atlantic Ocean at a height of 10,670 meters (35,000 feet).

But Virgin Orbit later said there had been an “anomaly that has prevented us from reaching orbit”; it said it would provide more information when it could.

The UK space industry employs 47,000 people and ranks second only to the US in terms of satellite production.

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More than 2,000 space fans had gathered to cheer when the aircraft took off from the runway in Newquay.

Following the mission, the huge jet, according to Virgin Orbit, safely landed in Newquay. The country is second only to the United States in the number of satellites it produces.

An investigation could take some time, depending on the cause and gravity of the problem. Last month, Europe’s Vega-C midsized rocket failed and is expected to be grounded for several months while an inquiry is carried out.

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Western Europe’s first satellite launch mission of Virgin Orbit takes off
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