CosmicGirl is a 747.
It used to be owned by Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Orbit bought the airplane.
They stripped out and made it very light.
So it's a very different airplane
It's modified to carry a rocket.
It does what's called air launch. So
rocket on the airplane
So we will at Spaceport
Get airborne like a normal airplane,
Just trying to get to height as quick
roughly about 30,000 feet.
And we enter what we call a race track.
The race track is an area
everything to happen at once.
So we have a terminal count,
Getting the engine ready.
It's a 15 minute process.
At the end of that 15 minute
It doesn't want to wait 4 minutes.
It's ready and it has to go now.
And at that point,
and an aggressive nose up attitude
We're looking for exact speed to get rid
and you hit that parameter.
You press the button.
At the moment,
You have that is it done a work?
Is it going to come off?
Have we done it right?
And it's about a half second delay.
And then you hear this huge clunk
hold in the 70,000lb rocket
In about 5 seconds,
just this deep, deep roar and that's
hand bank, look out the left window
And you've got the window frame.
Just going for it, you know?
And it is accelerating one hell of a rate.
The rocket falls away.
We hear nothing at this point.
We've just lost 70,000lb
the airplane straight away. It's
We know that the airplane gets some speed
It's doing that.
The challenge is that gives you
The auto throttle is don't work
I can be very careful
and when I'm doing the launch release
You know, the the you're doing a lot
as a pilot to keep the airplane
And then lastly, if we if we come back
is the additional challenge of landing
that's only got 18 inches of clearance,
to inches of clearance
and we're trained for it, we're prepared
And the challenges
What is a passenger jet at very, very old
can do the job of it does is a big rocket.