NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System moon rocket is being hauled from its launch pad back to the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center Saturday morning for final repairs, testing and closeouts, moving closer to liftoff later this summer after completing a fueling demonstration last month. The rollback is began at 4:12 a.m. EDT (0812 GMT).
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket fired off its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Friday on a six-hour climb to geosynchronous orbit, deploying a classified payload and a U.S. Space Force satellite to test an improved infrared heat-sensitive sensor design that could help detect and track enemy hypersonic missiles.
Virgin Orbit’s fifth LauncherOne rocket mission began with release from the company’s Boeing 747 carrier aircraft over the Pacific Ocean at 11:53 p.m. PDT Friday (2:53 a.m. EDT; 0653 GMT Saturday). The air-launched rocket is carrying seven small CubeSat payloads into orbit for the U.S. military and NASA.