I’m so thrilled for Masten. I’ve long admired their work, and it’s wonderful to see them become part of a quick moving, big budget, and prestigious program like CLPS. I really hope they shine with XL-1 and can use that momentum to push themselves with bigger and better vehicles.
Sara Spangelo, CEO of Swarm, in a Medium post on what has to be one of the most surprising regulatory turnarounds in space history.
The contract covers 3 dedicated launches of 44 satellites for $35 million. That puts the per-launch price at just under $12 million, which seems like just a bit of a bulk discount. This is huge news for Virgin Orbit, and it comes at a critical time for them.
Some of my favorite images from space are the ones where you can see parts of spacecraft, because it adds such great context and perspective. BepiColombo delivered on that, with a sequence of images at closest approach. But the best sequence is the nearly 10-hour long, full disk approach.
It’s good to see them making quick work on this reusability effort. They released a ton of video to go along with this, and from watching that, it sure looks like a Rocket Lab-painted version of PDG Aviation’s 2017 test in cooperation with Airborne Systems and Lockheed Martin.
I wasn’t feeling overly sentimental, but then I read Eric Berger’s piece and started thinking back. As Eric makes clear, it’s hard not to argue that Dragon and its Falcon counterpart are the defining vehicles of this era. And boy did I have an epic day back in 2010.
In a world where SpaceX was not doing as well with Dragon 2 as they are, the decision on whether or not to refly Starliner’s test might have gone differently.
Surprisingly, OmegA is on track to be the first to fly of the three new launch vehicles bidding for the National Security Space Launch program. Northrop Grumman is looking mighty smart to use a pair of RL10 engines on their upper stage rather than the BE-3U.
Very special thanks to the 388 of you out there supporting Main Engine Cut Off on Patreon for the month of March. MECO is entirely listener- and reader-supported, so your support keeps this blog and podcast going, growing, and improving, and most importantly, it keeps it independent.
This makes me so happy. I absolutely adore the NASA worm and it looks so damn good on SpaceX hardware. I wish it were the main logo for the agency.
Really nice work by Virgin Orbit. However, it’s an odd time for Virgin Orbit to take this on. They are in for a tough stretch in terms of funding.
Where OneWeb goes from here is going to be a hell of a story. By some estimates, they need at least $4 billion to finish off their constellation.
Bummer for everyone there, but for years it has been known that Bigelow was a hot mess internally. So much potential in what they could have done if they had the right mix of leadership and vision and drive.
Bummer to hear that they’ve lost the vehicle as well as some equipment on the ground. Good thing they have 2 more following closely in the pipeline.
Great news for all involved. Sinclair becomes part of what has to be one of the most exciting space companies operating today, and Rocket Lab gets a jump up the timeline of their work on Photon.
Cool read on a very cool development.