5 reasons why are we so excited about "Horizontal Launch"

(1) Horizontal launch is typically operated out of an airport - allowing huge flexibility in the choice and variety of launch locations. 

(2) It provides a platform where the launch aircraft may fly over adverse weather - reducing delayed launches due to weather considerations as the plane just navigates to a location from where it releases a rocket from underneath one of its wings. 

(3) The rocket is dropped firstly, and then when safely away from the aircraft it ignites and lifts into space - an efficient method that can dramatically increase the volume of available launches (although it does have a weight requirement which makes it only relevant for small satellites). 

(4) Lower fuel costs because the plane generates most of the energy needed - passing cost savings onto the customers 

(5) This launch method also means the rockets can be taken to a variety of different locations for launch - offering the ability to get satellites into numerous orbits 

Congratulations to the Virgin Orbit team on this triumph! We look forward to a future where launching a satellite is as easy as booking a flight.