Friday 27th of January 2023

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Orbital rocket launched from Western Europe for 1st time

 LONDON:Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket blasted into Earth's lower orbit to deploy its satellites at midnight on Monday. It marks the first orbital mission to begin from UK soil or from anywhere in Western Europe.

 "The first satellites launched from UK soil are now in space!" the UK Space Agency (UKSA) tweeted.

 The UK's first rocket launch mission Start Me Up lifted off Monday evening. Cosmic Girl, a former Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747, took off at 10:01 p.m. GMT from Spaceport Cornwall with the LauncherOne rocket under its wing.

 

  The rocket carries satellites from seven customers into space, including commercial and government payloads from several nations, and a collaborative US-UK mission, according to Virgin Orbit.

 Start Me Up, named in honour of the Rolling Stones' 1981 hit, is a collaborative effort between the UKSA, Cornwall Council, the Royal Air Force and Virgin Orbit.

 Francesca Gosling from UKSA confirmed to Xinhua on Monday that the launch is the first ever satellite launch from Western Europe. 

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