Virgin Galactic’s chief executive says the company is approaching the “next phase” of the flight test program for the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle as the company’s founder predicts the company reaching space in “weeks.”
The next-generation crewed spacecraft will be the payload for the first flight of the Long March 5B launch vehicle, a variant of the Long March 5 and designed for lofting large modules of the planned Chinese Space Station.
Roscosmos now says one of the Soyuz rocket’s four strap-on boosters failed to properly separate and nicked the core stage.
Arianespace said Oct. 11 it’s too soon to say whether the Soyuz-ST rockets it uses to launch satellites from South America will be grounded following the failure of a Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying crew to the International Space Station.
Air Force funding three new rockets to compete with SpaceX but only intends to buy launch services from two providers
Phase 2 of the Launch Service Agreement will be an open competition. All there winners have to compete - or they would have to return their development funds back to the government. SpaceX presumably would bid as well.
Thursday’s dramatic launch abort was the first time a crewed spacecraft bound for the ISS has suffered a mission critical failure. But it was not the first time that a manned Soyuz rocket has been forced to activate its launch abort system.
An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are reported to be in good condition after a problem with their Soyuz rocket minutes after liftoff Oct. 11 forced them to abort their mission to the International Space Station and make an an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.
The U.S. Air Force announced on Wednesday it is awarding three contracts collectively worth about $2 billion to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and United Launch Alliance to develop launch system prototypes.
A report by NASA’s inspector general Oct. 10 criticized both NASA and Boeing for delays and cost overruns in the development of a key component of the Space Launch System, and warned of more delays and overruns to come.
Suborbital launch company UP Aerospace is halfway through funding an all-solid propellant rocket called Spyder that it hopes will meet government demand for missions that need to launch on short notice.
SpaceX conducted its seventeenth launch of the year Oct. 7, sending an Argentine radar satellite into low-Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket.
ULA finally selects BE-4 engine for Vulcan, marking an anticlimactic victory for Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin (and another disappointment for Aerojet Rocketdyne).
United Launch Alliance and satellite operator Viasat are defending the “competed” status of a launch contract that other launch companies say they had no part in.
At a news conference on the opening day of the International Astronautical Conference in Bremen, Germany, Landspace said it will launch the Zhuque-1 three-stage solid-propellant rocket near the end of October, with the exact date to be decided.
The company’s namesake says he now has sufficient capital to see his Queensland, Australia-based venture through to a first launch of an orbital rocket in 2020 but acknowledges he’s still looking for a domestic launch site.