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Billionaire Branson’s Virgin Orbit Sends Satellites Into Space

Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl” carrying the LauncherOne rocket takes off from Mojave Air and Space Port on Jan. 17.

Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl” carrying the LauncherOne rocket takes off from Mojave Air and Space Port on Jan. 17.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

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Billionaire Richard Branson’s orbital-rocket system put its first satellites into space, after a previous attempt failed in May.

Virgin Orbit said a Boeing Co. 747 named Cosmic Girl took off from California on Sunday carrying the company’s LauncherOne rocket, which was then released and ignited before successfully reaching orbit. It then deployed its payload: nine miniature satellites known as CubeSats developed by NASA.