Rocket Report: Four Falcon Heavy launches this year;  meet the Wand-one

Rocket Report: Four Falcon Heavy launches this year; meet the Wand-one

A French startup has named its rockets Baguette-one and Orbital-Baguette-1.
Enlarge / A French startup has named its rockets Baguette-one and Orbital-Baguette-1.


Welcome to Rocket Report 4.46! This report will come to you a day early because I will be on vacation for a while, long enough that there will be no newsletter next week. We will see. As for the events I might miss, wait until the Federal Aviation Administration finally decides on the launch site for SpaceX’s spacecraft in South Texas by next Monday.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don’t want to miss an issue, please sign up using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP versions of the site). Each report will contain information on small, medium and heavy rockets as well as a quick overview of the next three launches on the schedule.

France chooses two small launch companies. As part of its France 2030 economic development plan, the European country is seeking to provide technical and financial support to develop a fledgling industry of small launches. More than a dozen companies applied through a competitive bidding process, and as of Friday, two companies were nominated. According to Challenges, HyPrSpace and Sirius Space Services won. Surprisingly, HyPrSpace’s first rocket will be called Baguette-one. They are instantly my favorite rocket company.

No half-baked plans … The amount of the scholarships was not disclosed, but during the call for projects, the government announced that it would provide 400,000 euros to 1.2 million euros for the initiation phase, then from 1.2 to 5 million euros for the development phase. The French government has also said that it will provide payloads for the first launches of these companies. In Europe, France is following Germany and Great Britain in the development of a new industry of commercial space launches.

Terran 1 rocket arrives in Florida. Tim Ellis, Managing Director of Relativity Space tweeted sunday that the first stage of the company’s Terran 1 rocket had arrived at its integration and launch facility in Florida. Relativity plans to conduct stage one testing in Florida, which will take place over the next few months. After assembling the first and second stages, as well as the rocket’s nose cone, crews at Launch Complex-16 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Base will perform fit checks to ensure the pad hardware fits properly at the rocket, reports Florida Today.

fun in the sun … A launch is unlikely before the fall, but Ellis said he’s confident Terran 1 will fly this year. The Terran 1 is designed to carry 1.25 tons into low Earth orbit for $12 million. To focus solely on reaching orbit, Relativity Space did not place an operational payload on Terran 1. The company was also bold in naming the mission, calling it “Good luck, have fun -you”. We hope they will have both luck and fun. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

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Vega-C launch date set. The European Space Agency has set itself the goal of launching its new Vega-C rocket on July 7. The launch is currently scheduled to lift off from European Spaceport in French Guiana at 11:13 UTC, the space agency said. The 35-meter-tall solid unibody rocket can lift 2.2 metric tons into a 700 km polar orbit.

More for your money … The Vega-C replaces the Vega Rocket, offering about 50% more performance for a comparable price, estimated at $37 million. For this first flight, Vega-C will carry as its main payload the LARES-2 satellite, a scientific mission of the Italian Space Agency. Six CubeSats built by European universities and research institutes will fly as secondary payloads. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

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