Virgin Orbit has signed an agreement with ANA Holdings, parent company of Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), to bring the company’s LauncherOne service to Japan.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) charts out a long-term partnership between ANA and Virgin Orbit, further strengthening ties between the US and Japan for co-operative, space activities.
Under the terms of the agreement, ANA will evaluate the capabilities to provide aircraft and ground support equipment maintenance and potentially additional aircraft to support Virgin Orbit’s local launch operations, as well as logistics and transport services for Virgin Orbit’s broader launch operations across Asia.
“Japan has long been a global source of innovation and a leader in space, and with the small satellite market growing so impressively, we are seeing countless new satellite applications and businesses emerge in the region. With this new partnership, we’re excited to bring LauncherOne’s unique responsiveness and flexibility to Asia for the first time,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “ANA has the respect and trust of customers around the world—and we look forward to working closely with them to stimulate the small satellite market in Japan.”