NASA elects to have ELaNa 20 mission fly on the upcoming second test flight of the LauncherOne

by | Aug 6, 2020 | commercial launch services, NASA, Satellites, Seradata News, Technology

NASA and Virgin Orbit have announced that the ELaNa 20 mission will fly on the upcoming second orbital test flight of the LauncherOne rocket. NASA and Virgin Orbit issued a press release on 3 August. In which it stated that NASA is happy for the 11-satellite mission to fly on this test flight, known as Launch Demo-2 to Virgin Orbit. The launch of these 11 CubeSats will honour an NASA Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract originally signed in 2015.

Virgin Orbit experienced a failure during their first orbital attempt in May 2020. This was later traced to rupture in the high-pressure Liquid Oxygen (LOX) line in the first-stage, causing an engine shut-down. Having identified and fixed this issue they are ready to try again. This next flight is expected before the end of the year and NET September 2020.

Corporate logo of Virgin Orbit. Courtesy of Virgin Orbit.


The 11 satellites on-board make up 10 separate missions from individual institutions across the USA.

  • CACTUS-1 – Capitol Technology University, Maryland.
  • CAPE-3 – University of Louisiana, Louisiana.
  • EXOCUBE 2 – California Polytechnic University, California.
  • INCA – New Mexico State University, New Mexico.
  • MiTEE – University of Michigan, Michigan.
  • PICS 1/2 – Brigham Young University, Utah.
  • PolarCube – University of Colorado, Colorado.
  • Q-PACE – University of Central Florida, Florida.
  • RadFXSat-2 – Vanderbilt University, Tennessee.
  • TechEdSat-7 – NASA Ames Research Center, California.


About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Virgin Orbit signed to provide two launches for British newspace company Arqit Limited

On 12 May Virgin Orbit announced that it had been selected by Arqit Limited to launch its first two satellites. Read more

Virgin Orbit contracted to launch six hyperspectral imaging sats starting in 2023

On 21 April Virgin Orbit was selected to launch a series of six hyperspectral imaging satellites using its LauncherOne vehicle. Read more

Covid-19 Pandemic Endgame: “1943” has been reached but setbacks may still happen

Most of those living today will not have been alive during the World Wars of the Twentieth Century.  And yet, Read more

Virgin Orbit is contracted to launch two CubeSats for Polish company

Virgin Orbit announced on 9 February 2021 that it has been contracted by Polish smallsat manufacturer SatRevolution. The two 3U Read more

Dutch military CubeSat to fly with Virgin Orbit on upcoming mission

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has - through its satellite manufacturer ISISpace - secured a slot on a March 2021 Read more

Virgin Orbit bounces back from maiden failure as its LauncherOne reaches orbit

After several technical delays and a maiden launch failure (and at a developmental cost of around US$1 billion), Virgin Orbit Read more

Virgin Orbit plans to take stake in struggling Sky and Space Global

Announced on 28 October, are the plans of upcoming small launch provider Virgin Orbit to purchase part of Sky and Read more

Ruptured propellant line doomed maiden flight of LauncherOne

The cause of failure of the maiden flight of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket has been revealed. The air-launched rocket was Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website