Rocket Report: Omega rocket blows a nozzle, NASA still wants 2020 SLS launch

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Cartoon rocket superimposed over real rocket launch.

Enlarge / The mighty Delta IV Heavy rocket takes to the skies. (credit: Aurich Lawson/United Launch Alliance)

Welcome to Edition 2.02 of the Rocket Report! We’ve got lots of heavy-lift news this week, including reports on potential problems with a test of the Omega rocket’s large first stage and a messy political decision surrounding NASA’s choice of rockets for the high-profile Europa Clipper mission.

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.

Senate bill calls for use of commercial spaceports. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved three amendments in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 related to the burgeoning small-launch industry, SpaceNews reports. According to the report, the Department of Defense must devise a plan to make greater use of commercial spaceports to launch small satellites, develop a strategy to integrate commercial capabilities into space operations, and investigate China’s investments in its small satellite and small launch industries.

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