Rocket Report: Delta IV’s grand finale; Angara flies another dummy payload

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2024-04-12

The Angara A5 rocket launched this week from Vostochny for the first time.

Enlarge / The Angara A5 rocket launched this week from Vostochny for the first time. (credit: Roscosmos)

Welcome to Edition 6.39 of the Rocket Report! The big news this week came from United Launch Alliance, and the final mission of its Delta IV Heavy rocket. Both Stephen and I had thoughts about this launch, which is bittersweet, and we expressed them in stories linked below. It's been a little less than 20 years since this big rocket debuted, and interesting to think how very much the launch industry has changed since then.

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.

Rocket Lab to reuse flight tank. On Wednesday Rocket Lab said it is returning a previously flown Electron rocket first stage tank to the production line for the first time in preparation for reflying the stage. The company characterized this as a "significant" milestone as it seeks to make Electron the world's first reusable small rocket. This stage was successfully launched and recovered as part of the ‘Four of a Kind’ mission earlier this year on January 31.

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