When SpaceX's Falcon 9 launcher blasted off from Cape Canaveral last week, carrying the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, the technology involved was not so different from early NASA missions a half century ago. The difference was that this was the first true commercial spaceflight. In this week's issue (29 May), we ask if this marks a new space age, where private companies, rather than governments, fund future launches of cargo and humans into orbit
Also in this issue, Airbus chiefs brief us on A380 wing cracks, A350 schedule and A320 production. And our military engines special looks at how Europrop International is planning to support export campaigns for the Airbus Military A400M, and the defence market potential of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100 geared turbofan.