Rocket Report: Starship is on the clock; Virgin Galactic at a crossroads

The payload fairing for the first test flight of Europe's Ariane 6 rocket has been positioned around the small batch of satellites that will ride it into orbit.

Enlarge / The payload fairing for the primary take a look at flight of Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket has been positioned across the small batch of satellites that can trip it into orbit. (credit score: ESA/M. Pédoussaut)

Welcome to Version 6.48 of the Rocket Report! Recent off final week’s dramatic take a look at flight of SpaceX’s Starship, groups in Texas are losing no time gearing up for the following launch. Floor crews are changing the complete warmth protect on the following Starship spacecraft to beat deficiencies recognized on final week’s flight. SpaceX has an entire lot to perform with Starship within the subsequent a number of months if NASA goes to land astronauts on the Moon by the top of 2026.

As all the time, we welcome reader submissions, and should you do not need to miss a difficulty, please subscribe utilizing the field under (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 will not be flying once more any time quickly. After a formidable however temporary flurry of spaceflight exercise—seven human spaceflights in a yr, even to suborbital house, is unprecedented for a non-public firm—Virgin Galactic will now be grounded once more for at the very least two years, Ars studies. That is as a result of Colglazier and Virgin Galactic are betting all of it on the event of a future “Delta class” of spaceships modeled on VSS Unity, which made its final flight to suborbital house Saturday. Virgin Galactic, based by Richard Branson, now finds itself at a crossroads because it chases profitability, which VSS Unity had no hope of serving to it obtain regardless of twenty years of growth and billions of {dollars} spent.

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