China’s main space contractor plans to revamp a highly successful, 30-year-old Long March rocket model to adapt to the trend towards reusability in the launch sector.
China’s launch vehicle makers appear to be designing a fully reusable version of the Long March 9 super heavy-lift rocket needed for future megaprojects.
Benchmark Space Systems announced plans May 24 to produce engines in the United Kingdom and to work with U.K. startup Space Forge to develop reusable chemical propulsion systems.
Rocket Lab declared success in its effort to catch an Electron booster in midair after launch May 2, even though the helicopter had to release the booster moments later.
NASA’s embrace of reused rockets continued with an agreement this month to switch the upcoming launch of an Earth science satellite from a new to a previously flown Falcon 9, a change whose full terms remain proprietary.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a U.S. Space Force GPS 3 satellite June 17. The rocket lifted off at 12:09 p.m. Eastern from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.
The scheduled June 17 SpaceX launch of a GPS 3 satellite will be the first national security space mission to use a refurbished Falcon 9 booster.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched another set of Starlink satellites May 26 on a launch that highlighted an often-overlooked aspect of the company’s reusability efforts.
The next launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket will be the second mission where the company attempts to recover the vehicle’s first stage as part of its efforts to reuse the booster.
SpaceX launched a set of Starlink satellites May 9 on a Falcon 9 whose first stage was making its tenth flight, a long-awaited goal in the company’s reusability efforts.