Rocket Report: SpaceX launches Korea to the Moon, Georgia’s spaceport

Zoom / An Atlas 5 rocket launched an infrared satellite into space Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base.

Trevor Mahelman

Welcome to version 5.05 of Rocket Report! Don’t look now, but it may be less than four weeks away from the launch of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. I’ve covered this reinforcement for dozens of years and I’m ready for it finally is happening. I have a lot more coverage planned in the coming weeks.

As usual we Readers’ offers are welcomeAnd if you don’t want to miss any issue, please sign up using the box below (the form won’t appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small, medium and heavy missiles as well as a quick look at the next three launches in the calendar.

Georgia spaceport sues to force sale of land. Citizens of Camden County I voted overwhelmingly against a proposal for a spaceport in southeast Georgia. Then, the 4,000-acre owner sought by spaceport backers said he would end an agreement to sell the land to Spaceport Camden backers. However, Camden County commissioners refuse to give up on the dream of building a spaceport that locals don’t want, and that the landowner doesn’t want to sell. So they took the landowner, Union Carbide Corporation, to court, News4Jax reports.

Ignore the voters … Last month, in a statement, Union Carbide said: “As a result of (the election), there is no longer an option agreement in place between the province and UCC, and UCC does not intend to transfer ownership to the province in accordance with the previous option agreement.” Upon filing the lawsuit, Camden County government official Steve Howard wrote, “It is certain that UCC has a contract with Camden. The county has indicated that it is willing, willing and able to close. We expect UCC to honor its contract obligations.” At some point, you have to wonder why local officials are so keen on building this spaceport. (Provided by zapman987 and Ken the Bin)

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For the first time, a successful solid rocket. Chinese launch services provider CAS Space successfully put six small satellites into orbit early Wednesday with the first launch of its Lijian-1 solid rocket, Space news reports. The Lijian-1 is now China’s largest operating solid launcher, and CAS Space is also developing larger missiles. The 30-meter-long Legian-1 rocket can carry 1,500 kilograms of payload in a 500-kilometre sun-synchronous orbit.

Derivative designs … CAS Space is a quasi-commercial branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The parent company, CAS, is developing a range of spacecraft, including BeiDou satellites, and has previously launched sounding rockets. Although Wednesday’s orbital launch marks a major step forward, solid rockets appear to be just the beginning of CAS Space’s ambitions. The company is also working on reusable liquid engines with the goal of developing recoverable ejectors. A new website recently revealed by the company shows that the launch vehicles are similar to the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and New Shepard launch pads. (Provided by EllPeaTea and Ken the Bin)

US companies complete the Pallosa launch on August 4. Thursday was a quiet day for US launch providers. Beginning at 05:00 UTC, Rocket Lab’s Electron spacecraft launched the NROL-199 mission into low Earth orbit for the US National Reconnaissance Office. Then, at 10:29 UTC on Thursday, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket sent an infrared satellite from space into orbit for the US Space Force. Finally, at 1337 UTC, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launched the NS-22 suborbital space tourism mission.

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Next, SpaceX … the focus turned Thursday night to SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket, which was to launch the Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter to the moon. The rocket was launched at 23:09 UTC from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was a success. I can’t remember a time when four different US missiles were fired during the same calendar day, but it probably wouldn’t be the last time, given all the developments in the new US reinforcements, big and small. We are truly entering an era of launch abundance. (Provided by EllPeaTea and Ken the Bin)

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