The historic mission to deploy satellites into space from Spaceport Cornwall ended in failure on Monday night.

Virgin Orbit tweeted an anomaly had prevented the LauncherOne rocket from reaching orbit and ended its live stream of the event. The team is evaluating the information.

The US company founded by Sir Richard Branson had earlier tweeted the rocket had successfully reached orbit.

Cosmic Girl had taken off from Spaceport Cornwall to rapturous applause from the crowd of more than 2,000 people who had gathered to cheer her off.

The repurposed Boeing 747 took off to the sounds of The Rolling Stones 1981 hit Start Me Up, which the mission was named after. There was a muted cheer as the plane returned safely back to Spaceport Cornwall with her flight crew shortly after midnight.

 It was thought history would be made as it would be Virgin Orbit’s first international satellite launch and the first commercial launch from Western Europe. 

it was also hoped the satellite launch would see the UK enter the space race. The UK has a thriving space industry but until now has not had a spaceport to launch satellites from.

LauncherOne was carrying seven payloads into Lower Earth Orbit, which spanned a wide range of activities aimed at improving life on planet Earth, including reducing the environmental impact of production; preventing illegal trafficking, smuggling, and terrorism; and a host of national security functions.

This included the first ever satellite launched by the Sultanate of Oman focused on Earth Observation; future-facing return satellite tech aboard Wales’ first satellite, built by Space Forge; a Maritime monitoring payload built by Horizon Technologies and the Satellite Applications Catapult; as well satellites from the MOD, DSTL and US National Reconnaissance Office.