Rocket Report: Astra to launch from Florida, NASA troubleshoots SLS issue

Enlarge / SpaceX launched NASA’s IXPE mission on a Falcon 9 first stage that had previously flown four times. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann / Ars Technica)

Welcome to Edition 4.26 of the Rocket Report! Don’t look now, but we’re less than two weeks from the momentous launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope is fully fueled and has just been moved to the facility where it will be stacked atop the Ariane 5 rocket. Is anyone else nervous?

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don’t want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

France to accelerate reusable-rocket plans. On Monday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced a plan for Europe to compete more effectively with SpaceX by developing a reusable rocket on a more rapid timeline. “For the first time Europe … will have access to a reusable launcher,” Le Maire said. “In other words, we will have our SpaceX, we will have our Falcon 9. We will make up for a bad strategic choice made 10 years ago.”

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