Virgin Orbit – Approaching Pole Position?

 

Over the past five years, the launch sector has (improbably?) become one of the hottest startup sectors, with more than 100 companies announcing plans to enter the market. To date, however, only one of these new entrants … Read the rest


Paying a premium for obsolescence

 

On 30 September, the US Air Force awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA) a $1.18 billion contract modification to support the launch of five Delta IV Heavy rockets stretching through the end of February 2024. When combined with an earlier $1.01 billion production contract, each launch will cost a hefty $438 million. The contract modification was necessary because, with the end of the EELV program, … Read the rest


SpaceX Starship Webcast

 

On September 28, 2019 (eleven years after the first successful launch of the Falcon 1), Elon Musk hosted a nearly two-hour webcast update on SpaceX’s Starship development plans.  While the broad outlines of the company’s plan were already well known (prior speeches, Musk tweets), the webcast provided some important new details and (fantastical?) claims that, … Read the rest