Stratolaunch bids for rocket-drop 747 as Virgin Orbit assets are carved up
Three companies have successfully bid for assets of Virgin Orbit, with aerospace firm Stratolaunch picking up the modified Boeing 747-400 which was used to carry air-dropped satellite launch vehicles.
NASA selects Blue Origin to build second Artemis lunar lander
Private spaceflight company Blue Origin joins reusable rocket pioneer SpaceX on NASA’s Artemis programme to return humans to the lunar surface, with both companies under contract to develop spacecraft capable of landing astronauts on the moon.
Several prospective bidders for Virgin Orbit aim to maintain company’s operations
Over 30 expressions have interest have been submitted for troubled air-launch specialist Virgin Orbit, with several looking to continue the company’s operations.
SpaceX Starship, largest rocket ever built, explodes minutes after take-off
SpaceX’s Starship system – a heavy-lift rocket and reusable flight vehicle designed to ferry crew and cargo beyond Earth’s orbit – exploded over the Gulf of Mexico 4min after a test launch on Thursday.
Pentagon to fund expansion of rocket motor production at Aerojet Rocketdyne
The US Department of Defense (DoD) will provide rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne with some $215 million to modernise facilities and expand production at three sites across the USA.
Virgin Orbit files for bankruptcy 16 months after going public
Space-launch start-up Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy protection in a US court on 4 April, a move coming 16 months after the company became publicly traded amid wide fanfare.
India conducts runway landing test of reusable spacecraft
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted a runway test landing of a developmental reusable spacecraft.
Virgin Orbit launch failure inquiry indicates engine overheat after fuel-filter dislodged
Virgin Orbit has started modifying its air-dropped rocket vehicle after analysis indicated that abnormal heating of the second-stage engine, following a filter displacement, caused loss of thrust during the company’s failed inaugural UK satellite launch.
Virgin Orbit begins investigating failed inaugural UK satellite launch
Virgin Orbit has started an investigation after the inaugural UK launch of a satellite from a carrier aircraft ended in failure when the rocket – having been successfully dropped – did not reach orbit.
US aerospace industry powers launch of NASA’s first Artemis moon mission
Numerous US defence contractors supplied critical components for Artemis I, including rocket engines, solid state boosters and the space capsule that will eventually carry human astronauts.