Virgin Orbit gets $9.5 million from UK space agency

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The space agency of the United Kingdom yesterday awarded $9.5 million to the smallsat rocket company Virgin Orbit

ccording to the statement, the funds will be used “to develop launch operations support systems and manufacture them in the U.K.” in addition to conducting “mission planning, and to further ready the facility for satellite launches from Cornwall”.

This award is part of a larger funding package of $26 million (£20 million) from Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, while Virgin Orbit have also said they will contribute about $3.2 million (£2.5 million) to the Spaceport Cornwall project. The hope is that Cornwall could become a hub for European launches to space in the future.

Essentially this is an effort by the UK to bring Virgin Orbit’s launches to Cornwall spaceport. Why Virgin Orbit has got this money is puzzling however. Launched from a 747 which can take off from almost all airports, Virgin Orbit doesn’t necessarily need to launch from a spaceport. That fact is probably why the company got this “pay-off”, using somewhat more blunt words.


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  • Col Beausabre

    1) Branson is British

    2) Graft and Corruption aren’t limited to Washington – London perfected the Swamp (The very term “red tape” comes from Britain “The tradition continued through to the 17th and 18th century. In David Copperfield, Charles Dickens wrote, “Britannia, that unfortunate female, is always before me, like a trussed fowl: skewered through and through with office-pens, and bound hand and foot with red tape”. The English practice of binding documents and official papers with red tape was popularized in Thomas Carlyle’s[5] writings, protesting against official inertia with expressions like “Little other than a red tape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence”. To this day, most defense barristers’ briefs, and those from private clients, are tied in a pink-coloured ribbon known as “pink tape” or “legal tape”.)

  • Cotour

    Branson may be despised by some (I won’t mention any names that start with a Z) but Branson somehow gets things done and moves into the future and he he builds his fortune. Its a function of a personality type, just like others in business and in politics (I again will not mention any obvious names here that start with a T) that have a force of vision and are able to BS their way to get others to finance those visions and manifest them into reality.

    This “Vision” ability is an essential element of Capitalism that may not have been properly recognized or identified here on BTB. Just like good Communists that analize Capitalism and come to the conclusion that all “We” have to do is turn all successful businesses into co operatives that are run by the employees, then all will be right, “equal” and balanced in the world. (Delusional half baked Horse crap)

    And the Communists also seem to gloss over the fact that successful businesses can not exist for one second without these visionaries and “BS” aritists in most all and every case. Someone has to have the vision and the talent to sell the idea and then be able to manifest it into reality.

    And not everyone has that ability, as a matter of fact it is more rare than common.

  • Cotour: I do not despise Branson. In the 2000s I was a big booster of him and Virgin Galactic.

    My opinion is always based on facts. The facts here is that Branson has consistently failed in his space effort. I have noted however that I have more faith in Virgin Orbit’s eventual success than Virgin Galactic, for many reasons.

  • Cotour

    And what of the distinction between visionaries and Capitalism and their special abilities and those in government and in politics and social engineers who pose as such?

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