Rocket Report: Will Northrop’s rocket be reusable? Fourth Starship gets fired twice

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2024-03-29

The final Delta IV Heavy rocket is seen on the launch pad in Florida.

Enlarge / The final Delta IV Heavy rocket is seen on the launch pad in Florida. (credit: United Launch Alliance)

Welcome to Edition 6.37 of the Rocket Report! The big story this week is the final launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket, which is one of the biggest spectacles to enjoy lifting away from the planet. Because of a scrub on Thursday, there is still time to clear your calendar for a second attempt on Friday at 1:37 pm ET in Florida.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Orbex patents reusable rocket tech. The British launch company said this week it has patented a "REFLIGHT" technology that enables the recovery of the first stage of its small Prime rocket. Essentially, Orbex designed an interstage that will function somewhat like grid fins on the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage. "After Stage 1 detaches from Stage 2, the interstage on top of Stage 1 reconfigures into four ‘petals’ which fold out and create drag forces that passively reorients and slows the spent rocket stage’s descent to Earth," the company stated.

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