First mission of LauncherOne rocket from Poland planned for 2023

Poland could soon see the start of its first space mission after the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) and Virgin Orbit, the California-based satellite launch company, signed an agreement to deliver LauncherOne to Poland, a technology for sending objects to space.

The first take-off of a LauncherOne rocket from Poland is planned for 2023, the Polish minister of development and technology has announced.

"We are one step further! The first launch is planned: 2023," Piotr Nowak tweeted on Wednesday night after the deal was signed in Los Angeles earlier in the day.

POLSA explained that the signed agreement envisaged a detailed analysis of the LauncherOne technology for the needs of Polish science and economy, and the possible choice of Virgin Orbit as a partner in projects involving the launching of objects from Polish territory.

LauncherOne is a system consisting of a specially adapted plane, the so-called carrier (a Boeing 747-class jet) and a rocket launched from its back at a height of about 10-11 kilometres, capable of placing a payload of a total mass of up to 300 kilograms in a low orbit around the Earth.

The first successful LauncherOne mission was carried out on January 17, 2021. Less than 12 months later, during the third successful commercial mission using the system, two of the seven small satellites were launched by the Polish company SatRevolution.