Rocket Report: SpaceX on the service of a rival; Endeavour goes vertical

Space shuttle<em> Endeavour</em>, seen here in protective wrapping, was mounted on an external tank and inert solid rocket boosters at the California Science Center.

Enlarge / House shuttle Endeavour, seen right here in protecting wrapping, was mounted on an exterior tank and inert stable rocket boosters on the California Science Heart. (credit score: California Science Heart)

Welcome to Version 6.29 of the Rocket Report! Proper now, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the one US launch car providing crew or cargo service to the Worldwide House Station. The earlier model of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket retired final 12 months, forcing that firm to signal a contract with SpaceX to launch its Cygnus provide ships to the ISS. And we’re nonetheless ready on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V (no fault of ULA) to start launching astronauts on Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule to the ISS. Principally, it is SpaceX or bust. It is a good factor that the Falcon 9 has confirmed to be essentially the most dependable rocket in historical past.

As at all times, we welcome reader submissions, and in the event you do not need to miss a difficulty, please subscribe utilizing the field beneath (the shape won’t seem on AMP-enabled variations of the positioning). Every report will embrace data on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets, in addition to a fast look forward on the subsequent three launches on the calendar.

Virgin Galactic flies 4 passengers to the sting of house. Virgin Galactic carried out its first suborbital mission of 2024 on January 26 as the corporate prepares to finish flights of its present spaceplane, House Information studies. The flight, known as Galactic 06 by Virgin Galactic, carried 4 clients for the primary time, together with its two pilots, on a suborbital jump over New Mexico aboard the VSS Unity rocket aircraft. Earlier industrial flights had three clients on board, together with a Virgin Galactic astronaut coach. The purchasers, which Virgin Galactic did not establish till after the flight, held US, Ukrainian, and Austrian citizenship.

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