Long Beach has a new corporate citizen. Today, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic announced the creation of a new venture, Virgin Orbit. The space company, which offers launch services for small satellites via its LauncherOne system, originally operated as a division of Virgin Galactic at its Douglas Park facility in Long Beach. The 180,000-square-foot manufacturing plant now serves as Virgin Orbit’s headquarters.


The firm’s newly-appointed president, former Boeing executive Dan Hart, is overseeing a team of more than 200 employees.


Virgin Orbit is one of three firms within Virgin Group’s portfolio of commercial space companies, which also include Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.


“I’m thrilled that our small satellite launch service has now progressed to the point it merits the formation of its own company, Virgin Orbit, and a new president in Dan with decades of deep experience and success in a broad variety of space programs,” Branson said in the announcement.


In Hart’s 34-year history with Boeing, he served as vice president of government satellite systems, in which he oversaw satellite programs for the United States and “several allied countries,” according to a statement form Virgin Galactic.


For more information see the next issue of the Business Journal.