Overnight magic! An amazing night for SpaceX, which again landed a Falcon 9 first stage on a drone ship at sea. Except this one was even more challenging, with a three-engine descent burn due to higher velocity. The second stage successfully delivered a satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
A new SpaceShipTwo, called VSS Unity, was rolled out by Virgin Galactic Friday, nearly 16 months after the first SpaceShipTwo was destroyed in an in-flight accident that killed one of the two pilots and seriously injured the other. Today's rollout, led by Sir Richard Branson, signaled that Virgin Galactic remains committed to eventually providing suborbital flights for passengers who will initially pay more than $200,000 per seat. (Photo: Virgin Galactic)
A few pages from LAUNCH Magazine's interview with Apollo 14's Edgar Mitchell in 2008. Rest in peace, Ed! You made history, and will still be remembered a thousand years from now when historians look back at the beginning of space travel, and humankind's early voyages to the moon.
Rest in peace to Apollo 14's Edgar Mitchell, who died Thursday. Today marks the 45h anniversary of his moon landing. Ed is shown here, second from the left, at a Launch Magazine-sponsored screening of "The Wonder of It All" in Pelham, NY back in 2008. Also pictured next to Mitchell is Apollo 7's Walt Cunningham, along with "The Wonder of It All" director Jeffrey Roth, and Launch editor Mark Mayfield.
Seemed like a good day to take out a couple of Semroc SLS rockets and to fondly remember Carl McLawhorn, Semroc's founder who died in 2013, and is still greatly missed by the model rocket community. Ad Astra!
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the final Little Joe II flight, and this one carried a production-line Apollo command module. (Earlier flights included boiler plate capsules.) One of these photos shows the real thing, and the other includes the 1/45h-scale Centuri Little Joe II model we used on the cover of the first issue of LAUNCH Magazine back in 2006. (A few other model rockets from my office are in the photo, as well.) Glad to hear Estes is reissuing the 1/45h-scale Little Joe II. Bravo!
— Mark Mayfield