RAF C-17 Globemaster delivers Virgin Orbit's 'LauncherOne' rocket to Cornwall

A Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster has arrived at Space Cornwall carrying Virgin Orbit's 'LauncherOne' rocket.

The RAF and UK Space Command are supporting #StartMeUp – the first-ever space launch from the UK which is due to take place later this year.

In the cockpit of the launch will be Squadron Leader Mathew Stannard, an RAF test pilot working within Virgin Orbit.

Squadron Leader Matthew Stannard is on secondment from the RAF to Virgin Orbit – and used a modified 747 jet in July to successfully deliver a rocket to an altitude, of 500km above the earth's surface, before launching it.

Now all eyes are on the next mission planned to take off from Cornwall later in the year.

Sir Richard Branson's US company Virgin Orbit has successfully placed seven spacecraft in orbit from California and is now focusing on its operations in England following the move to Space Cornwall.

RAF's rocket man in January helped launch the Virgin Orbit space rocket over the Pacific.

The hope is that this UK-based launch will help the UK Armed Forces gain a technological edge while also inspiring a new generation of British space scientists.

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