Historic UK Rocket Launch Ends In Failure

THE first ever satellite mission launched from UK soil has ended in failure.

A 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.

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.

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