Launching Rockets from a Plane

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 2:30pm PST
Kelly Latimer and Zack Rubin
Virgin Orbit
N232 R103
Event Type: 

Kelly Latimer, Virgin Orbit’s chief pilot, along with her Flight Test Director, Zack Rubin, will give a talk about the exciting development and challenges to launching a rocket from a plane. Virgin Orbit is part of the larger Virgin Group and a sister company to Virgin Galactic. Virgin Orbit is getting ready to conduct its debut launch in the coming months.  

Kelly and her team utilize the Ames 747-400 simulator. It is a unique asset because it allows for modification of the aircraft aero model, as well as weight and center of gravity, to simulate flight with the rocket attached. It also enables simulation of the rocket release.

Kelly Latimer is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel. She flew at NASA Dryden (now Armstrong) and at Boeing prior to flying for Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.

Little trivia, she flew the SOFIA aircraft in 2007, when it first came out of modification from L3’s facility in Waco.

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