To do that, all you need is a specially converted aircraft, capable of climbing high enough for a rocket to shoot into orbit from under its wings, carrying whatever cargo. There are several companies working on this at the moment, but by far the most advanced is Virgin Orbit, born from the mind that generated all Virgin companies ever, Richard Branson's.
Using a specially-converted Boeing 747-400 nicknamed Cosmic Girl, the company has launched stuff up there this way three times already, and it is speeding up the process, including by performing such a mission, for the first time, from Western Europe, later in the summer.
Seeing how the business is growing, Virgin Orbit announced this week the fleet of aircraft capable of launching items beyond the Earth’s atmosphere will expand with two new members that will join the Cosmic Girl family.
Both are also Boeings of the 747-400 kind, and just like the Cosmic Girl, they will be converted by L3Harris. One is meant for use as a launch platform, and the other for cargo duties, to deliver rockets and ground support equipment to where it’s needed.
Virgin Orbit expects to have the second launch airplane, still unnamed, ready in 2023.