Cosmic Girl arrives in Cornwall ahead of satellite launch

Cosmic Girl on finals (Image: Bob Sharples)
Cosmic Girl on finals (Image: Bob Sharples)

Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747-400 N744VG, known as “Cosmic Girl” has arrived at Newquay Cornwall airport ahead of the first-ever satellite launch from the UK.

Cosmic Girl will be used as a launch platform for a rocket carrying nine satellites which will be launched into high-earth orbit next month.

Cosmic Girl on finals to Cornwall Spaceport (Image: Bob Sharples)

The Boeing 747-400 was specifically chosen from Virgin Atlantics fleet when the type was retired having spent years flying holidaymakers across the Atlantic as G-VWOW.

A number of “rehearsals” will now be flown using the aircraft which has been adapted to carry a rocket called LauncherOne which deploys from the aircraft at around 35,000ft.

Cosmic Girl on the ramp at Cornwall Airport Newquay (Image: Bob Sharples)

Launcher one will then carry its payload into orbit.

Although Virgin Orbit is a private business, Squadron Leader Mathew “Stanny” Stannard, a Royal Air Force pilot, will fly the 747 on its historic mission.

Cosmic Girl on the ramp (Image: Bob Sharples)
Cosmic Girl on the ramp (Image: Bob Sharples)

The payload on the first mission will include:

  • AMBER IOD-3
  • Prometheus-2 
  • CIRCE 
  • DOVER
  • ForgeStar-0 
  • AMAN
  • STORK-6
About Nick Harding 1698 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.

1 Comment

  1. I noticed an Atlas Air B747F arrived at NQY lunchtime today from LAX. Obviously connected as B747’s very rare in NQY

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