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Ars Technica - Rocket Report: BE-4 engine breathes fire; Delta IV Heavy puts on a show


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A Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office  lifted off from Space Launch Complex-6 on Sept. 24.

Enlarge / A Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-6 on Sept. 24. (credit: United Launch Alliance)

Welcome to Edition 5.12 of the Rocket Report! As a bit of late breaking news, Firefly attempted to make its second orbital launch attempt with the Alpha rocket early Friday, at 3 am EST (07:00 UTC) from California. However in the final moments before liftoff the vehicle went into "auto abort" after engine ignition. Firefly is reviewing data from the scrub to determine its next attempt.

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.

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Virgin Orbit faces "difficult" licensing in Britain. The next launch of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket, which fires its engines after being dropped from a carrier aircraft, is due to occur no earlier than October 29 from Spaceport Cornwall in southwestern England. A report in Cornwall Live says that the launch window that opens at the end of October is viable for several weeks and that the company still aims to launch during the fourth quarter of this year. During a Cornwall Council meeting earlier this month, Louis Gardner, cabinet member for the economy, provided details about licensing issues that are still being worked through.

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