Virgin Orbit, a small satellite launch company, is working with Israel’s ImageSat International (ISI) to develop a launch service that will be able to provide small satellite-to-Earth observation services in a very short period of time and can be carried out virtually anywhere in the world,media reported.
This is a service specifically designed for national security and intelligence clients, combining ISI’s remote sensing expertise and capabilities with Virgin Orbit’s launch capability in a relatively short period of time.
After taking off like a traditional jumbo jet from a modified aircraft, LauncherOne is understood to have used a two-stage rocket to send small satellites , weighing 660 pounds, into low-Earth orbit. The LauncherOne launch vehicle is then deployed at high altitudes, with the advantage of reducing the fuel cost of launching and making it possible to send a small payload into space for as little as $12 million per launch.
Because of its unique design, Virgin Orbit and ISI say this is the best way to meet intelligence and defense customer needs. By providing basic on-demand launches and high-resolution imaging satellites combined with analysis services for results data, there is no doubt that there is potential to be an attractive product for the national security industry. Virgin Orbit still needs to clear the key to the success of the actual demonstration orbit launch before launch, but if everything goes according to plan then the work is expected to take place sometime this year.