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Engadget

Rocket Lab will resume missions in August following launch failure


In its announcement, Rocket Lab said that it was able to gather the data it needs, because the vehicle was unharmed and was able to continue sending information to its ground team. It also explained that it wasn’t able to detect the issue before the flight, because the electrical connection remained secure throughout testing. However, its now knows that the issue can be avoided through additional tests. Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said in a statement:

“The issue occurred under incredibly specific and unique circumstances, causing the connection to fail in a way that we wouldn’t detect with standard testing. Our team has now reliably replicated the issue in test and identified that it can be mitigated through additional testing and procedures.” Read More

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TechCrunch

Rocket Lab clear to launch again after first mission failure attributed to electrical fault – TechCrunch


Rocket Lab has received clearance to launch from the FAA following the failure of its Electron rocket on July 4 and the loss of the half-dozen satellites on board. “This was a very, very sneaky and tricky issue,” said CEO Peter Beck. “However, the issue is well understood by the team. We’re really looking forward to getting back on the pad.”

The failure, Beck explained on a call with press, was nowhere near as catastrophic as many such incidents are. While the payloads were lost in the vehicle’s uncontrolled descent, the rocket did not explode or break up suddenly as sometimes happens, but rather seems to have calmly shut itself down during the second stage burn due to “a single anomalous electrical connection.” Read More

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The Verge

Rocket Lab says it has approval to return to flight after losing a rocket during launch


Less than a month after Rocket Lab lost one of its vehicles during a mission, the small satellite launcher has approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to start launching its Electron rockets again. The company plans to launch its next rocket sometime in August from the company’s primary launch site in New Zealand.

On July 4th, Rocket Lab launched its 13th mission to space from New Zealand, carrying seven small satellites, most of which were designed to image the Earth from above. Just a few minutes into the flight, the engine on the upper portion of the Electron shut down too early, according to Rocket Lab. As a result, the rocket didn’t achieve orbit and fell back into Earth’s atmosphere where it burned up and destroyed all the satellites on board. Read More

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TechCrunch

Rocket launch startup Astra readies for orbital test flight as early as Sunday – TechCrunch


Rocket launch startup Astra is readying for its first orbital flight test, set to take place either this weekend or next week, weather permitting. The company will launch its ‘Rocket 3.1’ from Kodiak, Alaska – and while these are technically classified as orbital test flights, the company was quick to caution journalists on a press call on Thursday that it doesn’t necessarily believe each the three initial launches it has planned will make it all the way to orbit proper.

“We don’t intend to get a hole-in-one here,” said Kemp. “It’s a par three course. We intend to really accomplish enough to ensure that we’re able to get to [orbital] flight after three flights, and for us, that means a nominal first stage burn, and getting that upper stage to separate successfully. After that, pretty much everything that we learn is additional upside, and will be just delighted if that upper stage lights and we’ll be delighted if the upper stage teaches us something so that so that our next flight can even be more successful.” Read More

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The Next Web

Rocket League is going free-to-play later this summer

Psyonix, makers of the insane soccer-but-with-RC-cars game, Rocket League, announced that it’s making the popular title free-to-play later this summer — five years after its launch.

While the game is available across consoles and PC platforms, the announcement only mentions details about the PC version. Rocket League will be available for free on Steam, and will arrive in the Epic Games Store when the new version launches — and it’ll support play between these platforms.

So what’s changing, besides the price tag? Psyonix says it’ll “make exploring the game easier” by revamping menus, and improving major features like Tournaments and Challenges. It’s also introducing cross-platform progression and the ability to bring items, Rocket Pass progress, and your Competitive Rank to other platforms you play on. Read More

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VentureBeat

Rocket League is going free-to-play and (sorta) leaving Steam


Rocket League is one of the standout hits from the outgoing generation of consoles, and now the vehicular-soccer battler is going free-to-play. Developer Psyonix plans to make the move later this summer. As part of this shift in business models, the company will also roll out its biggest update yet.

Psyonix promises to provide more details about the timing of the update in the next few weeks. But for now, it is confirming that it’s going to overhaul how Rocket League’s Tournaments and Challenge systems work. More important, the studio is also adding cross-platform progression. So you can carry your items, Rocket Pass progression, and rank from PC to Nintendo Switch or any other platform. To take advantage of cross-platform features, you’ll need to log into an Epic Account like in Fortnite. Psyonix is a subsidiary of Epic Games. Read More

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Engadget

‘Rocket League’ will soon be free to play on all platforms


The forthcoming update is Rocket League’s “biggest one yet,” according to Psyonix. It includes cross-platform progression for players’ item inventory, Rocket Pass progress and competitive rank when linked to an Epic Games account. If you’ve played the game prior to the free-to-play update, you will be awarded “legacy status.” This includes: “Est. 20XX” title that displays the year when the player first started playing Rocket League, 200+ Common items upgraded to “Legacy” quality, Golden Cosmos Boost, Dieci-Oro Wheels and a Huntress Player Banner. Read More

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The Verge

Rocket League is going free-to-play


Rocket League is changing in a big way. Today, developer Psyonix announced that, later this summer, the multiplayer cars-meets-soccer game will be going free-to-play. Additionally, the game will get cross-platform progression, covering elements like cosmetic items, battle pass progression, and competitive rank.

Things are also changing significantly for the PC version of the game. When the free-to-play version of Rocket League launches, it’ll be moving from Steam to the Epic Games Store. (Psyonix was acquired by Fortnite-maker Epic last year.) Here’s how the studio explains: Read More

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TechCrunch

UAE successfully launches Mars probe aboard Japanese H-IIA rocket – TechCrunch


The United Arab Emirates has succeeded with the initial stage of its first ever Mars mission, thanks to the launch of an H-IIA rocket built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Sunday. The rocket carried the Al Amal (Hope) Probe for the UAE, a Mars orbiter that is set to arrive at the red planet by February 2021, and spend a Martian year (687 days) on orbit around Mars collecting data about its atmosphere.

This is the first of three separate planned missions to Mars that are scheduled to take place during July, including a launch of a Mars orbiter and launder from China set to take place later this week, and NASA’s Mars Perserverance rover mission, which is currently planed for July 30. Read More

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TechCrunch

Astra completes Rocket 3.1 static test fire ahead of launch attempt – TechCrunch


Another small rocket launcher is readying to demonstrate their ability to launch a vehicle to space, after a few setbacks exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Astra has just completed a second static test fire of its Rocket 3.1 orbital launch vehicle, and that means it’s now ready for a trip to Alaska where it’ll hopefully make its first trip to orbit from a spaceport in Kodiak.

Astra originally started out as a company with the specific goal of answering the DARPA launch challenge, which asked companies to create a launch vehicle that could tech orbit within a few weeks of each other (originally from separate launch sites, but then later only from separate pads at the same spaceport). The challenge expired without Astra claiming the price, after the 3.0 version of their Rocket failed to reach orbit. Read More