Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson’s attempt to launch a rocket off the coast of Los Angeles ended in failure on Monday when the projectile gave out shortly after being dropped.
The “LauncherOne” rocket appeared to be functioning correctly after being dropped from a Virgin jumbo jet called “Cosmic Girl” Monday afternoon, but then “terminated” soon after, the company said on Twitter.
“We’ve confirmed a clean release from the aircraft. However, the mission terminated shortly into the flight,” Virgin Orbit wrote in a tweet.
“Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and returning to base,” they added.
The company said in another tweet that the rocket was able to maintain stability after release from the jet, but an “anomaly” doomed it soon after.
“As we said before the flight, our goals today were to work through the process of conducting a launch, learn as much as we could, and achieve ignition,” Virgin Orbit wrote.
“We hoped we could have done more, but we accomplished those key objectives today,” they added.
The launch was intended to be Virgin’s inaugural launch of an orbital rocket. Competitors of the company such as SpaceX have successfully launched similar devices, but from launch pads, not a plane.
With Post wires
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