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Episode Info:

Veronica Foreman is a payload engineer at the small-satellite launch provider Virgin Orbit. Before starting her career at Virgin Orbit, Veronica earned several academic accolades including an Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award at Georgia Tech, and a Best Masters Thesis award at MIT. What I find especially impressive about her Masters work on small-satellite constellations is that Veronica considered both the design of constellations, as well as the economic and policy challenges to small-satellite mission success.

As Virgin Orbit’s mission is to be the premier dedicated launch service for small satellites, Veronica has seemingly found the perfect place for her expertise and passion. One of the key features of Virgin Orbit’s launch design is its air-launching system that drops the rocket (LauncherOne) from the wing of a Boeing 747 (Cosmic Girl), providing a movable launchpad. As Veronica explains in this episode, this capability provides Virgin Orbit unique advantages in terms of providing a dedicated launch service for small satellites. In this episode of the Aerospace Engineering podcast, Veronica and I discuss:

  • Virgin Orbit’s vision
  • the unique advantages and challenges of an air-launched rocket system
  • some of Virgin Orbit’s key engineering technologies
  • and the growing importance of satellite constellations

If you enjoy the Aerospace Engineering Podcast you can support it by leaving a review on iTunes or by supporting it directly on Patreon, where patrons of the podcast receive exclusive behind-the-scenes content and special episodes. Thanks a lot for listening!

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