Aerostructures manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems will partner with the USA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop advanced materials capable of withstanding the high temperatures of hypersonic flight for military, space and commercial applications.
The defence aerospace manufacturer won a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA to develop and demonstrate a reusable space flight vehicle propelled by a nuclear thermal rocket engine with substantially improved fuel efficiency over chemical rockets.
The proposal by L3Harris to purchase the strategically important maker of rocket motors was approved by the US Federal Trade Commissionon on 27July, after the agency previously opposed a similar bid from Lockheed Martin.
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.
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.
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