Rocket Report: FAA decision day, or another delay? Using a balloon first stage

Enlarge / The Space Launch System rocket rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building this week. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

Welcome to Edition 4.41 of the Rocket Report! For your situational awareness, Rocket Lab’s “There and Back Again” mission is now scheduled for 22:35 UTC on Friday from Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The company is seeking optimal weather for the launch and subsequent recovery of the first stage by helicopter. Can’t wait to see it.

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.

Angara 1.2 rocket finally ready for flight. Russian space journalist Anatoly Zak reports that the Angara 1.2 vehicle—a single-core version of the Angara booster—is finally ready for its debut flight. It may launch as early as Friday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, carrying the small MKA-R spacecraft. The vehicle, Zak notes, has been under development for 25 years in various guises.

Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments