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Dislodged fuel filter linked to Virgin Orbit launch failure
Posted: Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 9:33 AM ET (1433 GMT)
Virgin Orbit LauncherOne drop test (Virgin Orbit) Virgin Orbit released more details Tuesday about the failure of its LauncherOne rocket last month. The company said a fuel filter in the rocket's second-stage engine dislodged, and a fuel pump downstream of the filter subsequently suffered a loss of efficiency that reduced the amount of fuel reaching the engine. That caused the engine to operate at a higher temperature it was rated for, and components in the vicinity of it later malfunctioned, leading to a premature shutdown of the engine. The company said the failure investigation is ongoing and did not set a date for a return to flight. The statement came a week after Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart revealed at a conference that the failure appeared to be linked to a dislodged filter.
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