$13 million: NASA’s been on an outsourcing kick as of late. The agency has awarded Blue Origin a multimillion dollar deal to develop propulsion systems for its lunar landers and another $13.9 million to ULA for three additional projects in hopes of achieving a technological “tipping point” to usher in the commercial space age in earnest.
6 military branches: That’s one more than we currently have, or really need even, but its the number that we’ll get by 2020, Vice President Pence announced this week. Because why spend $3 trillion of taxpayer money actually, you know, helping Americans when you can just invent a new armed forces entity and transfer that wealth to your buddies in the defense industry? Eisenhower is spinning in his grave.
430,000 mph: The Parker Solar Probe, when it launches later this month, will be heading towards the Sun in a hurry. It will reach speeds of nearly half a million miles an hour — fast enough to go from Philly to DC in a second — making it the fastest manmade object to date.
100 launches: When its not littering the galaxy with automobiles, Space X is busy perfecting its reusable rocket designs. The latest, and final, Block 5 designs should be able to withstand 100 launches and reentries during their service lives.
2-by-2: Rocket Lab is planning on a busy end to 2018. The launch vehicle startup announced that it would attempt a pair of missions within two months of each other by year’s end.