Welcome to Edition 5.02 of the Rocket Report! Just as a heads up, I would like to note that it is now more than just theoretical that SpaceX’s Starship and NASA’s Space Launch System rocket could make their orbital launch attempts during the same month, August 2022. While I would not say it’s likely, both rockets presently have notional launch targets within three weeks of one another next month.
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.
A Minotaur rocket explodes after launch. A Minotaur II+ rocket exploded 11 seconds after launching from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Wednesday night, Noozhawk reports. (The rocket’s impact with the ground made a rather spectacular fireball, per an eyewitness source). There were no injuries in the explosion and the debris was contained to the immediate vicinity of the launch pad, Vandenberg officials said early Thursday. An investigative review board has been established to determine the cause of the explosion, Vandenberg officials said.