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Rocket report: Teachers invest in SpaceX, Russia, plans to investigate the reusable launch

  Comic rocket over real rocket launch.
Enlarge / The mighty Delta IV rocket flies into the sky.

Welcome to issue 2.06 of the Rocket Report! It's a nice fourth of July, a time when most Americans see rockets of a different kind flying into the sky. We are one day earlier this week because of the holidays; and there will be no report next week as the author spends some family vacations. See you in mid-July.

As always we are happy about reader contributions. If you do not want to miss any issue, please subscribe to the box below (the form will not be displayed in AMP-enabled versions of page? ˅). Each report contains information on light, medium and heavy duty rockets as well as a brief look at the next three launches in the calendar.

Rocket Lab completes the third flight of 2019 . The rocket Electron from Rocket Lab launched seven small commercial, military and educational satellites on Saturday after launching from New Zealand. The mission on Saturday, the seventh launch attempt for Rocket Lab, was postponed for two days to allow crews at launch complex 1 to replace faulty components on ground tracking equipment used to support the missile's flight termination system, Spaceflight Now reported.

A US launch in 2019? Meanwhile, construction of a new missile lab launch pad in Virginia is progressing, company founder Peter Beck told the release. The new launch pad on Wallops Island called Launch Complex 2 is similar to the existing Rocket Lab facility in New Zealand. "There are not two days that look the same with LC-2," said Beck. "For us, who are sitting here in New Zealand, we are watching the power of the American machine and the American scale at full speed.There are rows of concrete trucks, the erector is made and painted.It moves rapidly and on time, at the end of the year to be operational. "(Submitted by JohnCarter17 and Ken the Bin)

Vandenberg Recruits Small Launch Companies Polar missions missions are less popular these days, and this has slowed space-starter activities "We have a break," said Colonel Michael Hough, commander of the 30th Air Force Space Wing and the Western Range. "It's market-driven, the demand for polar orbits is simply not that high," he said recently a meeting with government officials attended by Space News.

Pretty much … Hough believes the Lüc ke could be filled by sprouting small startup industry. He pointed to the arrival of Firefly Aerospace last year, a small startup company that leased Space Launch Complex 2 West, previously used by representatives of ULA's Delta 2 range. In addition, they held talks with the providers Relativity Space, Vector and Rocket Lab. This is quite a turnaround compared to 14 years ago when Vandenberg unleashed another small rocket company called SpaceX, which for the first time tried to launch its Falcon 1 rocket. (Submitted by Ken the Bin)

FAA begins final review of Georgian spaceport . The Federal Aviation Administration announced that the first review of the operator license application for the Spaceport Camden launch site has been completed and that a 180-day final review of the project will now commence. The FAA told Camden County that it is likely to hit a licensing notice on or before December 16, 2019, News 4GA reported.

Who will start? … "Camden County shows what is possible when local leaders come together, think beyond the traditional limits, and find a way to maximize their community's greatest assets," said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. "We encourage the FAA to promptly approve the license application from its launch site operator." We are encouraged if the Georgia Spaceport has a starting tenant.

Exos suffers from setback in the third test flight . A reusable suborbital missile developed by Exos Aerospace suffered a loss of attitude a few seconds after launch on a test flight on June 29, but was safely returned to Earth, according to Space News. Exos's Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE or SARGE started from Spaceport America, New Mexico, but the rocket began spinning seconds after launch before disappearing from view.

Good luck on Mission 4 . "For one reason or another, we had a performance challenge on our gimbal control," said John Quinn, Exos's Chief Operating Officer, in short comments at the end of the company's webcast. "It's a very, very sad day, but every day you land a rocket, it's a good day." This was the third mission for Exos, and like the previous two, did not manage to reach space We definitely wish the company the best for its fourth attempt whenever it takes place (submitted by Ken the Bin and JohnCarter17)

SpaceX launches the same Falcon 9 five times this year SpaceX has upgraded its workhorse Falcon 9 to the Block 5 configuration three times, three times, and now they're ready for more, Space.com reports At a conference in Indonesia in late June, Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Commercial Sales, said SpaceX, the company plans to fly a single first stage five times by the end of the year.

Keep Promise … If so, this would be an impressive step towards Wiede reusability, to which SpaceX founder Elon Musk has enabled the rocket Falcon 9. Earlier, Musk said that the first stage of the current iteration of the Falcon 9 should fly at least 10 times with only inspections between flights and 100 times with some renovations. So far, the company has not reported much publicly about the amount of renovation work being done between the reuse of Falcon 9 in the first stage. (submitted by BH)

Russia founds a new office dedicated to the reusable launch . Russia's TASS news agency reports that a new experimental design office will be established at the Central Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Russia's largest science and research facility, Roscosmos. The overall goal, according to the publication, will be the design of reusable light-weight rockets.

Search for salvage rockets … First, a salvage rocket platform and the office will be created will hire young Roscosmos specialists and engineers. It's great to see how the Russian space industry is creating room for new ideas, and it will be fun to see what designs they are developing.

Starliner develops parachute tests . NASA and Boeing conducted two separate tests of the Starliner parachute system at two different sites in the western United States last week. In both cases, the Starliner test articles have landed safely, and the NASA and Boeing joint teams are currently reviewing the new data, according to NASA.

Pending Flight Tests … with an Atlas V rocket, Boeing is targeting an unoccupied orbital flight test to the space station this summer, testing the system's complete end-to-end capabilities from take-off to landing becomes. The unscrewed test is followed by the crew flight test to the space station. Sources have suggested to Ars that the unscrewed flight test will likely slip off into the fall. (submitted by George Moromisato)

Another fundraising round for SpaceX . The new round of financing, which was submitted on Monday, aims to raise $ 314.2 million at a price of $ 214 per share, according to a CNBC-viewed document. The new equity would bring SpaceX's total fundraising to $ 1.33 billion in 2019, once it is completed. SpaceX raised $ 486 million in equity and $ 536 million at the beginning of the year to capitalize on the ambitious Starlink satellite project and the Starship launch system.

Teachers Are On Board … part, if not all The investment in SpaceX comes from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which provides for assets under management of $ 191.1 billion , Ontario teachers said SpaceX was seen as a "compelling investment opportunity" for the fund, as it "demonstrated proven technology disruptions on the launch site and significant future growth potential in the satellite broadband market" (submitted by Ken the Bin))

Orion makes an important test flight . Early Tuesday morning, a former Peacekeeper rocket dropped an Orion spaceship with boilerplate to a height of nearly 10 km, before a powerful escape engine fired. Amidst the smoke, the escape system quickly pulled the NASA spacecraft away from the Peacekeeper booster. The entire test lasted 3 minutes and 13 seconds and was successful, Ars reported.

Orion on Track … "Everything we've seen so far looks great," said Orion Program Manager Mark Kirasich, about two hours after the crash test during the flight after a preliminary check of the data. The successful test keeps Orion on the road to an unmanned mission on top of the NASA Rocket Space Launch System in 2021. The bigger challenge will be to prepare the missile for such a mission.

Starship launched in 2021 for the first time commercially? SpaceX's first space and super-heavy commercial launch commercial mission is expected to take place in 2021, said Jonathan Hofeller, VP of Commercial Sales at SpaceX, in late June. "We are in talks with three different customers to complete this first mission," Hofeller said, according to a report in Space News. "These are all telecommunications companies."

Add Your Elon Time Joke Here … Hofeller said SpaceX is planning several test flights before deploying the next-generation launcher for satellites. A figure he has not quantified is intended to demonstrate the launch system to customers and to convince insurers of the reliability of a new vehicle. If the test flights really begin at the end of next year, followed by commercial operations in 2021, this would be a remarkable start Honestly, the early 2020s would be remarkable. We will be watching. (Submitted by Ken the Bin and JohnCarter17)

Next three starts

5. July : Soyuz 2.1b | Weather satellite Meteor M2-2 | Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia | 05:41 UTC

July 6 : Vega | Falcon Eye 1 | Kourou, French Guiana | 01:53 UTC

July 12 : Proton | Spectrum RG | Cosmodrome Baikonur, Kazakhstan | 12:31:00 UTC [19659029]
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