First USAF satellite to launch from Guam next year

(Photo courtesy Virgin Orbit)

The U.S. Air Force will conduct its first satellite launch from Guam next year, according to

According to the report, the satellite will be launched under contract with the private space launch company Virgin Orbit.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Ryan Rose, who runs the small launch and targets division for the Defense Department, told that Vox Space, the Virgin Orbit subsidiary, will launch a DOD satellite from Guam in 2020. He did not confirm a date.

Virgin Orbit will use its modified Boeing 747 dubbed ‘Cosmic Girl’ to launch the satellite using the company’s LauncherOne booster rocket strapped under its wing.

The Guam launch will be one of nine planned satellite launches in 2020 conducted by the small launch division of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center which is based at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.