LOS ANGELES—Virgin Orbit, the newly created small-satellite-launch Virgin Group company, is nearing completion of the first “pathfinder” LauncherOne test rocket, as modifications to the program’s converted Boeing 747-400 airborne carrier aircraft come close to wrapping up in Texas. Completion of the initial launch vehicle at Virgin Orbit’s Long Beach, California, facility comes as the company accelerates assembly work on a further three rockets for test and ...

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