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Virgin Orbit pens launch deal with SatRevolution

(9 February 2021 - Virgin Orbit) Virgin Orbit announced today it has signed a new launch agreement with SatRevolution, a NewSpace satellite company headquartered in Wroclaw, Poland.

For this contract, Virgin Orbit will launch a pair of small satellites, STORK-4 and STORK-5 (MARTA), later this year onboard its LauncherOne rocket.

Based on the state-of-the-art UniBus 3U CubeSat platform developed by SatRevolution, STORK-4 and MARTA are the first optical satellites to be launched as part of the company’s 14-satellite STORK constellation. Once deployed, STORK-4 and MARTA will collect multispectral medium-resolution imagery and data for agricultural and energy customers in the US, in Poland, and abroad. The mission will also feature a reduced timeline integration of the STORK-4 and MARTA satellites as part of a critical first step in demonstrating a responsive launch service. Future LauncherOne missions will be designed to offer a rapid launch capability, with the companies working closely to ensure that quick call-up capabilities are readily available.

The launch agreement builds on an existing relationship between Virgin Orbit and SatRevolution. In 2019, alongside nearly a dozen of the top technical Polish universities, the two companies became founding members of a consortium to develop the world’s first dedicated commercial small satellite missions to Mars. The Polish Mission to Mars Consortium seeks to launch best-in-class satellite technology by taking advantage of LauncherOne’s Virgin Interplanetary (or VIP) Service, which offers unique flexibility to access greater and more optimal launch windows for journeys to Mars and other interplanetary destinations.

“The signed agreement is another international cooperation which uses the experience and potential of Polish companies and their specialists involved in space activities. It is also worth emphasizing that thanks to such initiatives we highlight our expert positions in the global arena of space exploration,” said Michał Jach, Chairman of Polish Parliament’s National Defense Committee.

“Responsive launch services from Virgin Orbit bring great benefits for constellation developers like SatRevolution. We’re happy to be a part of LauncherOne’s first commercial mission and are looking forward to expanding our partnership and friendship through future missions,” said SatRevolution CEO Grzegorz Zwolinski.

“We’re honored to have been selected to launch these two cutting-edge spacecraft for our friends at SatRevolution as they drive forward the global small satellite revolution with breakthrough capabilities. Innovative satellite networks like STORK unlock tremendous value in the space supply chain,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “LauncherOne is ready to deliver these constellations into orbit, and we’re very excited to have a role in moving forward Polish-American collaboration in space.”

About Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit builds and operates the most flexible and responsive satellite launcher ever invented: LauncherOne, a dedicated launch service for commercial and government-built small satellites. Designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, LauncherOne rockets are air-launched from our modified 747-400 carrier aircraft – allowing us to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs.

About SatRevolution

SatRevolution is a Polish company established in 2016 to develop a real-time Earth Observation constellation and become the largest worldwide operator of EO satellites. The Company aims to deliver 1,024 nanosatellites to the Low Earth Orbit by 2026 to provide round-the-clock Earth Observation, complete manufacturing and management of the satellites, as well as compliance monitoring, and on-site engineering consulting.