Our vehicles, hardware, and software are all ready to go. With two rehearsals already complete, one final wet dress rehearsal is all that remains for us to do. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our ability to safely operate, and thus our schedule.
Our team has really proven to be outstanding. In the past week, we’ve completed full mission duration hotfire campaigns on both our upper & main stage engines, qualified our flight software and mission planning for this flight, verified the health of all rocket systems, and more.
Through extensive use of remote work and PPE, the redesign of our launch operations, and well-trained and dedicated staff, we've done everything in our power to keep our team safe at work — and thus far, we've prevented any cases of teammate-to-teammate transmission.
But even with these strict measures in place, as infection rates skyrocket in our communities, that is becoming a more difficult task.

Our latest round of contact tracing Friday evening led to a new batch of precautionary quarantines.
Consequently, we've fallen below the number of staff we feel we require to prudently and safely proceed with pre-launch operations.

Our priority now is ensuring the well-being of our team, and to support the few who have tested positive.
More than anything else, we wish them a speedy recovery.
Upon receiving this information late Friday, we stepped out of a major operation, our final wet dress rehearsal, which we had already begun, and stood down the team so we could make a clear-sighted assessment before moving forward.
Given the timelines associated with accurate Covid-19 testing results, this will impact our launch schedule. We are assessing that impact now. We will be ready to fly soon, but the health of our team and their families remains at the forefront of our decisions.
A final note: if you love space, love Earth and love its people, please take the proper precautions. Social distance and wear your mask. Simple, individual actions can save lives — and can keep our communities, our economies, and even our rocket launches on track.

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More from @Virgin_Orbit

25 May
Good morning, world! Today is a momentous occasion for the Virgin Orbit team: operations for the first orbital launch demonstration of our LauncherOne rocket are well underway. 🚀
After a promising pre-flight briefing this morning, weather remains favorable for our target launch window today.

As a reminder, we will not be livestreaming this flight — but stick around and refresh this feed for updates as the action happens.
Between the COVID-19 crisis and Memorial Day, it’s a bit of an odd time to be launching a rocket — but we’re thrilled to be approaching our first official launch window after years of working methodically through the LauncherOne program. We’re feeling more ready than ever.
Read 36 tweets
12 Apr
Good morning from Mojave, where our team is preparing for an end-to-end, capstone launch rehearsal of LauncherOne — the final test of our development program.
We’ve been pushing hard to prepare for this moment — rehearsing fueling operations, testing our telemetry hand-offs, simulating full-team missions, and all the other kind of work that needs to be done before debuting a new rocket.
Check out our blog to get up to speed on all of the activities leading up to this milestone, and what we're aiming for today: virg.in/TFr
Read 12 tweets

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