Hints of life renew interest in Venus, and a private mission could lead the way
The announcement Monday of the discovery of phosphine gas in the clouds of Venus — an indicator of possible life — has raised hopes among scientists for new robotic missions to renew exploration of Earth’s planetary neighbor. If Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck gets his way, a privately-funded mission could get the next crack at probing Venus’s soupy atmosphere.
Rocket Lab to begin booster recovery experiments later this year
Rocket Lab’s next launch from New Zealand, set for Friday, will carry a data recorder to measure the aerothermal environments encountered by the Electron launcher’s first stage during descent back into the atmosphere, information engineers say is crucial to successfully achieving the company’s newly-announced plan to recover and reuse the booster.
Rocket Lab finishes test flight inquiry, plans second launch later this year
The inaugural test flight of Rocket Lab’s commercial small satellite booster in May fell short of orbit because a software programming error on a piece of ground equipment led a safety officer to send a premature termination command, and the company is planning to deliver the next Electron vehicle to its New Zealand launch pad in October.