Launch Vehicle Development

Russia Wants a Heavy Lift Booster It Has No Use For

Russia Wants a Heavy Lift Booster It Has No Use For

If you think NASA sometimes has trouble explaining just what it wants to do with the Space Launch System before it is actually used for the “Journey to Mars,” consider this somewhat bizarre explanation of Russia’s planned Fenix launch vehicle. Billed as a backup to the Angara system for the same reason the USAF insists […]

India Anticipates May Launch for RLV Demonstrator

India Anticipates May Launch for RLV Demonstrator

The prospect of clearer skies is helping India draw closer to a flight test of a reusable launch vehicle demonstrator. After delaying a test of the RLV-TD originally planned to take place last December in order to work through technical issues, the Indian Space Research Organization is anticipating the suborbital launch of the 6.5 meter, […]

ULA Completes Preliminary Design Review of Vulcan Centaur Rocket W/ BE-4 Engines

ULA Completes Preliminary Design Review of Vulcan Centaur Rocket W/ BE-4 Engines

ULA Press Release: United Launch Alliance Completes Preliminary Design Review for Next-Generation Vulcan Centaur Rocket Centennial, Colo., (March 24, 2016) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle with dual Blue Origin BE-4 engines. The PDR, a major milestone in development of the Vulcan launch […]

Ahead of 2016 Launch, Rocket Lab Qualifies Its Rutherford Engine for Flight

Cue Dennis DeYoung and the rest of 1980’s mega band Styx, because for those who just love rockets, this may really be “The Best of Times.”  Besides the ongoing phenomenon that is SpaceX, and as well as Blue Origin, which suddenly seems a bit restless proceeding at the pace of a tortoise as its motto […]

Disruption: SpaceX Looking at 30% Price Reduction for Falcon 9 Reusable

Disruption: SpaceX Looking at 30% Price Reduction for Falcon 9 Reusable

An appearance by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell at the Satellite 2016 conference being held in National Harbor, Maryland is shedding a wealth of new information regarding the company’s plans for the remainder of 2016, including a some interesting insight into what it might charge for a re-flight of previously flown Falcon 9 first stage. According […]

Liberty Reborn or the Future Denied? Orbital ATK’s New EELV Class Rocket

Liberty Reborn or the Future Denied? Orbital ATK’s New EELV Class Rocket

An investor conference call (pdf download) for Orbital ATK which took place on March 1st has shed new, if somewhat puzzling light on Orbital ATK’s plans for a new booster to compete in the USAF’s EELV class against long standing incumbent ULA and recently certified SpaceX. Call it the rebirth of Ares-1, or perhaps of the patriotically […]

Russian Rocket Engine Replacement : Air Force Makes Two More Awards

Russian Rocket Engine Replacement : Air Force Makes Two More Awards

The Air Force has made two more awards in an effort to extricate itself from a controversial, and at times baffling American dependence on Russian rocket engines used to boost some of the nation’s most valuable and sensitive payloads into space. Yesterday’s awards, announced by the Space and Missile Systems PAO, went to Aerojet Rocketdyne […]

German, Japanese Space Programs Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement

German, Japanese Space Programs Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement

The German and Japanese Space agencies have announced a strategic partnership agreement which seeks to leverage both nations’ technological expertise to strengthen commercial and scientific space efforts. Among the items specifically cited in the press release is research into reusable launchers. DLR and JAXA strengthen cooperation JAXA Press Release: Today (25 February 2016), the German […]

Rocket Lab Signs Spire for its Electron Small Launch Vehicle

Rocket Lab Signs Spire for its Electron Small Launch Vehicle

Cubesat manufacturers and operators are beginning to align with the emerging class of new small launch vehicles which were designed to service the booming market for tiny spacecraft. New Zealand based Rocket Lab, which introduced on-line booking late last year, has announced that it has signed a launch contract with San Francisco based Spire, which […]

Quickening Steps Up the Long Ladder to a Reusable Space Architecture

Quickening Steps Up the Long Ladder to a Reusable Space Architecture

This could be the year of the real thing. In an interview conducted just days after his company completed the second successful suborbital launch of its New Shepard rocket, Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson indicated that 2016 should see the same vehicle fly “again and again” as it begins building the experience base which will lead […]

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