Virgin Orbit | Space

In March 2017, Virgin Galactic, a private space tourism company owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, announced the spinoff of a separate firm called Virgin Orbit. The new venture is dedicated to launching small satellites, including cubesats.

Cubesats are tiny but mighty machines, only 4 inches (10 centimeters) to a side. They take advantage of the miniaturization of electronics in recent years to pack sophisticated hardware within their minuscule frames. Cubesats are increasingly popular with businesses and researchers performing space-based missions because they are highly capable but cheap to manufacture and launch.