The contract covers 3 dedicated launches of 44 satellites for $35 million. That puts the per-launch price at just under $12 million, which seems like just a bit of a bulk discount.
This is huge news for Virgin Orbit, and it comes at a critical time for them. They’re still working through technical issues towards the very-delayed first launch attempt, and they’re facing a funding crunch after the parent organization dropped funding levels due to the aforementioned delays.
With OneWeb launches off their manifest, Virgin Orbit is going to be dependent on national security launches like this and agreements with other nations to host launches from their own soil, like they announced 10 days ago with Japan.