Virgin Orbit Says 'Next Rocket Is Waiting' After Launch Fail

Virgin Orbit vows to try again after Monday's unsuccessful rocket launch.
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Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson's satellite launch company, vowed to try, try again after Monday's unsuccessful rocket launch over the Pacific Ocean.

The company attempted to send its LauncherOne rocket into orbit during a test mission but something went wrong shortly after the rocket separated from the carrier plane, Cosmic Girl.

Virgin Orbit, part of Branson's Virgin Group, said an anomaly "occurred early in first stage flight, and the mission safely terminated," adding that "Cosmic Girl and all of its crew landed safely at Mojave Air and Space Port."

"We accomplished many of the goals we set for ourselves, though not as many as we would have liked,” Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we took a big step forward today. Our engineers are already poring through the data. Our next rocket is waiting."

Hard said that "We will learn, adjust, and begin preparing for our next test, which is coming up soon.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report and SpaceX, and Branson's space flight rival, expressed his condolences on Twitter.

"Sorry to hear that. Orbit is hard. Took us four attempts with Falcon 1," Musk tweeted.

"We appreciate that, Elon. We're excited about the data we were able to get today," the company tweeted in response.

Falcon 1 is SpaceX's expendable launch system that sent a payload into orbit around Earth.

The launch from Virgin Orbit had been scheduled for Sunday but it was postponed until Monday because a sensor had been "acting up."

The company’s next rocket is in final stages of integration at its Long Beach manufacturing facility, with a half-dozen other rockets for subsequent missions not far behind. 

Earlier this month Virgin Group said it might sell as many as 25 million shares of its space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) - Get Report through a subsidiary Branson controls.