Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit has reached space eight months after the initial demonstration flight of its own air-launched rocket system failed

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reached space on Sunday, eight months after the first demonstration flight of its own air-launched rocket system collapsed, the company said.

A 70-foot-long (21.34-meter-long) LauncherOne rocket was released from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747 carrier aircraft off the coast of Southern California, ignited moments later and jumped toward space.

The two-stage rocket conducted a bunch of very tiny satellites called CubeSats developed and assembled within a NASA educational program involving U.S. universities.

“Based on telemetry, LauncherOne has reached orbit” Virgin Orbit tweeted afterwards. “Everybody on the team who is not in assignment control at the moment is going totally bonkers.”

The rocket’s upper stage coasted to get a period of time, reignited to circularize the orbit and then set up the two CubeSats.

The flight developments were announced on social media. The launch was not publicly livestreamed.

Virgin Orbit, based in Long Beach, California, is a portion of a wave of companies targeting the launching market for more competent tiny satellites, which might vary in sizes like a toaster up to a house refrigerator.

Competitor Rocket Lab, also headquartered in Long Beach, has deployed 96 payloads at 17 starts of its Electron rocket by a site in New Zealand. Another of its rockets was nearing launch Sunday.

Virgin Orbit touts the flexibility of its capability to begin its assignments by utilizing airports around the world.

Virgin Orbit tried its first demonstration launch in May 2020.

The rocket was launched and released but just briefly flew under power until it stopped thrusting. The missing payload was only a test satellite.

The company later said an investigation determined that there was a breach in a high-pressure line carrying cryogenic liquid oxygen to the first-stage combustion room.

Virgin Orbit is separate from Virgin Galactic, the firm founded by Branson to carry passengers on suborbital hops in which they’ll experience the sensations and sights of spaceflight.

Virgin Galactic hopes to begin commercial operations this past season in southern New Mexico.