Stannard talked about the incredible experience of watching the LauncherOne be deployed, after which it propels itself into LEO, in a recent video shared by the UK’s Royal Air Force. The participation of an RAF pilot in Virgin Orbit’s Above the Clouds mission is also a milestone for UK’s space strategy, which involves the country’s first-ever satellite launch, scheduled for this year.
The UK Space Agency is currently working with Virgin Orbit for this upcoming launch from Spaceport Cornwall, representing the first time in history when satellites are launched from the UK’s territory. In addition to this pioneering spaceport in England, six more are going to follow – the Snowdonia one in Wales, plus Scotland’s Shetland Isles, Sutherland, Argyll, Prestwick, and the Outer Hebrides.
The National Space Strategy set up ambitious goals for the nation’s orbital launch capability, and the domestic spaceports are meant to support the fast-growing local satellite industry.
In just a few months, the RAF Flight Lieutenant will be part of an even more exciting, unique launch in UK’s history.