Virgin Orbit achieved another major milestone on Sunday, with LauncherOne taken on a captive carry test on Sunday. Carried under the wing of Cosmic Girl, a “flying launch pad” as described by the company, the duo enjoyed a successful first flight together, paving the way for the first launch that is set to take place in early 2019.
Cosmic Girl, a Boeing 747-400 (747-41R) series aircraft under then-registration number G-VWOW, undertook its first flight on 29 September 2001 and was delivered to Virgin Atlantic Airways on 31 October 2001.
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Cosmic Girl – as she was named at the time of her delivery – spent 14 years in service with Virgin Atlantic Airways primarily servicing the company’s London to San Francisco via New York City route until 29 October 2015.
At this point, Cosmic Girl was withdrawn from service for Virgin Atlantic and flown from London Gatwick airport in the United Kingdom to San Antonio, Texas, in the United States.
The plane was officially delivered to Virgin Galactic on 12 November 2015 and re-registered as N744VG.
At Virgin Galactic’s San Antonio facility, the company completed a series of laser scans ...