By Jill Dando News
The UK Space Agency has given an inspirational message which can be used by millions of people who embark on their personal ambitions.
Following the first ever attempted satellite mission from UK soil, the Deputy CEO of the UK Space Agency, Ian Annett, said it showed “how difficult” getting into orbit actually was – but predicted further launches within the next 12 months.
“We get up, we go back, we try again, that’s what defines us,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
The jumbo jet operated by the American Virgin Orbit company carried a rocket out of Newquay, Cornwall, to release it high over the Atlantic Ocean.
The rocket ignited and appeared to be ascending correctly. But word then came from the company that the rocket had suffered an “anomaly”.
The satellites it was carrying could not be released and were lost.
Cosmic Girl, the carrier 747 jet, returned safely to base.
The mission had been billed as a major milestone for UK space, marking the birth of a home-grown launch industry.
The ambition is to turn the country into a global player – from manufacturing satellites, to building rockets and creating new spaceports.
The Editor of Jill Dando News said: “This is exactly the sort of message everyone needs to hear. Despite not achieving this ambition first time, we keep going.”
The mission is being operated by Sir Richard Branson’s company Virgin Orbit, which has repurposed a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 aircraft.
The British entrepreneur has had one of his old passenger airliners converted to carry a rocket, called LauncherOne, underneath its left wing.