||[Jun. 11th, 2010|12:11 pm]
- Masten Space Systems, a small company working on vertical takeoff and landing (VTL) rockets, has successfully done a mid-air engine restart during a test flight. They say it's the first time a rocket has been shutdown and relit during flight. Very cool.
- Not to be outdone, Armadillo Aerospace, another small group working on such rockets (and a sentimental favorite of mine), did a longer fall with rocket engine off. They used a drogue chute and then relit the engine midair. The vectored thrust rocket was able to right itself and then land back on the pad it launched from. Spectacular!
- Finally, the Japanese Huyabusa probe is returning to Earth, hopefully carrying a sample of material from an asteroid. This would be the first time we've ever had asteroid material (apart from meteorites) to investigate.