Cosmic Girl, the Boeing 747-400 that will serve as an aerial launch pad for space company Virgin Orbit, will be unveiled at a private event on July 31 at Ross Aviation at Long Beach Airport (LGB). The aircraft will touch down this afternoon and be parked at LGB. The noise levels associated with this operation will be slightly louder than those generated by aircraft that typically operate at Long Beach Airport.
Formerly a commercial airliner, Cosmic Girl was purchased in 2015 by Virgin Orbit for its LauncherOne program. The aircraft was housed at an out-of-state facility for modification, but will be parked at LGB when not in use. Cosmic Girl is piloted by Air Force veteran Kelly Latimer and co-pilot Richard Nelson.
Virgin Orbit is a new commercial space company that specializes in launching small satellites. Its LauncherOne program based in Long Beach in the Douglas Park complex since 2015, looks to produce flexible, responsive low-cost launch services to meet increased demand over the coming years. Launches will occur in the Mojave Air and Space Port and are projected to start in the first half of 2018. The Long Beach Airport Aviation Area Complex has long been a center of development for the aviation industry, and is proud to be the home of the innovative Virgin Orbit.
For more information, follow Virgin Orbit: