Here are some of the stories you may have missed in the past week. The second week of August 2023 featured updates to Boeing’s delayed Starliner capsule, the Artemis II crew getting a look at their ride around the moon to SpaceX making more progress with the Starship program.
Boeing’s Starliner Delayed Further – More testing is in store for the long-delayed spacecraft as the company needs to verify the parachute system works as intended and finish removing a flammable tape that was inadvertently used on the capsule.
SpaceX continues Starlink launches – SpaceX launched 15 V2 mini Starlink satellites from California. The webcast featured beautiful views of Orbital Sunset as seen from the 2nd stage of the Falcon 9 as it completed its journey to space.
Booster 9 heads back to the production site – Following the first static fire test since the Integrated Test Flight, Booster 9 was removed from the Orbital Launch Mount and transported back to the production site for inspections and most likely engine swaps as 4 shut down early during the test.
Rocket Lab shares positive Q2 results – The company had a good Q2 and shared updates moving into Q3 and beyond, including additional launch contracts and updates on their new medium-lift rocket Neutron that will be a competitor with the Falcon 9 in the future.
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) August 10, 2023
Artemis II crew check out their ride around the Moon – The first crew to fly around the Moon in 50 years got a view of their ride, the Orion capsule, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The capsule is currently still being tested and assembled. Their trip is currently planned for no earlier than November 2024.
Virgin Galactic completes first all-civilian flight – The VSS Unity carried three civilians to 88.5 km on a trip to space, depending on which definition you follow. The passengers were able to enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness before returning to their seats for the glide back to the ground.
Amazon to fly Kuiper prototypes on Atlas V – Originally meant to launch on the new United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket, delays to that program have forced Amazon to switch to the Atlas V. Amazon had already bought multiple Atlas V launches. However, those were intended to fly many more satellites than just two prototypes.
SpaceX caps off week with another Starlink launch – SpaceX launched 22 V2 mini Starlinks from Cape Canaveral just after midnight, with Booster 1069 completing its 9th flight. This launch marked four launches in 8 days for the company before taking a small break.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 11, 2023
This past week included a mix of good news and bad news, depending on which way you look at it. Hopefully, Boeing can get their program on track, as having two providers to send astronauts to the ISS is very important.
What do you think of the news that broke last week? Looking ahead to this week, SpaceX is at it again with more Starlink launches.
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