Virgin Orbit Has “One Thing Left to Button Down” (and It’s Not Great)

Jeff Foust, for SpaceNews:

Stephen Eisele, vice president of business development at Virgin Orbit, said the company was in the “final, final, final” phase in the development of its LauncherOne rocket. “We’ve got one thing left to button down” with the rocket, along with a few captive carry flights of the modified Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, he said, but didn’t give an estimated date of their first orbital launch.

I’ve heard some talk of what Virgin Orbit is working through, and from the sounds of it, it’s bad. Nearing potentially-losing-an-important-mission bad.

On the extreme ends of things, if they get beaten to commercial launches by Firefly, and Firefly is able to keep their price and payload as stated, Virgin Orbit could be in for some trouble.