Rocket Report: SpaceX fires up seven Raptors; SpinLaunch raises big funding round

Enlarge / ArianeGroup seeks European funding to develop a reusable third stage for its launch vehicles. (credit: ArianeGroup)

Welcome to Edition 5.11 of the Rocket Report! Apologies for the lack of a report last week, but I was on assignment with the crew of the forthcoming Polaris Dawn mission. The upside is that this week’s edition is extra-long—running to 2,500 words.

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.

SpinLaunch raises $71 million. The company developing a launch system that uses a centrifuge as a first stage announced this week that it has raised $71 million, Space News reports. This brings the total funding secured by the company to $150 million, allowing it to develop a system that accelerates vehicles to hypersonic speeds. After the vehicles are, for lack of a better word, yeeted upward they use conventional rocket engines to reach space. SpinLaunch says this approach can enable a much higher flight rate than conventional rockets while also being more environmentally friendly.

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