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Rocket Report: NASA suspends SLS work, Astra suffers a setback, Ars Technica

Rocket Report: NASA suspends SLS work, Astra suffers a setback, Ars Technica
    

      Finding a way to orbit –

             

“The area is still hazardous and should be avoided.”

      

      

As always, we

Virgin Orbit assessing plans amid pandemic . The Long Beach, California-based company is reassessing the schedule for the first orbital-flight demonstration of its LauncherOne vehicle, which had been scheduled for April. “We’re mindful that COVID – is putting added burdens and stresses on our teams and leaders, so we are assessing things daily and keeping momentum up as best we can while doing everything we can to protect the health of our people, “Virgin Orbit spokesman Kendall Russell told SpaceNews

Firefly targets summer launch, expands vision . Like almost every other company in the world, Firefly has been grappling with the COVID – 27 pandemic in recent weeks. However, founder Tom Markusic told Ars That Firefly is on track to launch the Alpha rocket for the first time this summer. He anticipates shipping flight hardware to Vandenberg Air Force Base in June, when the vehicle will be assembled, rolled out for tests, and ultimately given a launch attempt.

(Eyes on the Moon) … Markusic also revealed that the company recently submitted a bid for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program’s fourth task order, C, to deliver scientific instruments to one of the lunar poles. To fulfill the NASA program’s goals, Firefly is partnering with other aerospace ventures to build the Genesis lunar lander and an orbital transfer vehicle. Awards may be made some time in April

                 

            

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Astra suffers a setback . The small-launch-vehicle startup has postponed its next launch attempt after the rocket was damaged in what local officials say was an “anomaly” during a prelaunch test, SpaceNews reports

(No new launch date set) … Local radio station KMXT reported that there was a problem at the launch site on Kodiak Island that prompted an emergency response. No injuries were reported, but the area was cordoned off. “The area is still hazardous and should be avoided. There will be personnel on site overnight to monitor,” Mark Lester, chief executive of Alaska Aerospace, which operates the spaceport, told KMXT. (submitted by trimeta, ABaMD, Unrulycow, Ken the Bin, and JohnCarter )

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