There have been a ton of recent updates from commercial small launch companies, like increased payload mass and volume from Rocket Lab, contracts and funding from ABL, solved vibration issues from Virgin Orbit, and a few others. With a handful of vehicles on the verge of their first launch, it’s a good time to take a higher-level look at these competitors.
This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 39 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 399 other supporters.
- Rocket Lab Increases Electron Payload Capacity, Enabling Interplanetary Missions and Reusability | Rocket Lab
- ABL Space Systems begins RS1 stage testing and reaches $90mm in funding
- Small launch startup ABL secures over $90 million in new funding and Air Force contracts - SpaceNews
- Wrapping Up Our First Launch Demo, and Looking Ahead to Launch Demo 2 | Virgin Orbit
- Firefly suffers anomaly during launch vehicle test - SpaceNews
- Firefly Aerospace on Twitter: “Yesterday evening we attempted to hotfire test the Alpha first stage for the first time. Unfortunately, after the four Reaver engines ignited, an engine bay fire developed (flame jet to the left in video). The system immediately shut itself down and the fire was quickly…”
- Relativity wins Iridium contract, selects West Coast launch site - SpaceNews
- Like the show? Support the show!
- Email your thoughts, comments, and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow @WeHaveMECO
- Listen to MECO Headlines
- Join the Off-Nominal Discord
- Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn or elsewhere
- Subscribe to the Main Engine Cut Off Newsletter
- Buy shirts and Rocket Socks from the Main Engine Cut Off Shop
- Music by Max Justus