Science News Summary: NASA’s Boeing Lunar Rocket Stops Ground Testing “Once in a Generation”; Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space with a key rocket launch in mid-air and more

Below is a summary of the current scientific news.

NASA’s Boeing Lunar Rocket Stops Ground Testing “Once in a Generation”

NASA’s Boeing-built deep space exploration rocket briefly fired all four engines of its behemoth central stadium for the first time on Saturday, disrupting a crucial test to advance a years-delayed U.S. government program to bring back humans on the moon in the next few years. Mounted in a test facility at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the 212-foot-tall central stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) came to life at 16:27 local time (2227 GMT) for just over a minute, well under the roughly four minutes it would take for engineers to stay on track for the first rocket launch in November this year.

Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space with a missile launch in mid-air

Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reached space for the first time Sunday with a successful test of its air-launched rocket, delivering ten NASA satellites into orbit and hitting a key milestone after stopping the first test launch of the rocket last year. The California-based Long Beach LauncherOne rocket was launched in mid-air from the underside of a modified Boeing 747 dubbed Cosmic Girl about 35,000 feet above the Pacific at 11:39 am PT before firing its NewtonThree engine to exit Earth’s atmosphere, demonstrating its first successful journey into space.

(With entrances from agencies.)

News Highlights:

  • Mounted in a test facility at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the 212-foot-tall central stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) came to life at 16:27 local time (2227 GMT) for just over a minute, well under the roughly four minutes it would take for engineers to stay on track for the first rocket launch in November this year.
  • Science News Summary: NASA’s Boeing Lunar Rocket Stops Ground Testing “Once in a Generation”; Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space with a key rocket launch in mid-air and more