JS Space: a week that will go down in history

Hello and welcome back to JS Space. What a week! In the same seven-day period, we watched Boeing's Starliner launch astronauts into space for the first time, and then we got to watch those two astronauts dock at the International Space Station. And we also saw SpaceX launch Starship for the fourth time ever – and then bring it back home. I think I'm not alone in thinking that some of the most spectacular images in rocketry history were captured during that flight.

On to the news, and more about these two historical stories below.

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Story of the week

The story of the week goes to Boeing's Starliner. After years of delays, approximately $1.5 billion in cost overruns, and persistent technical problems (yes, persistent…), the Starliner spacecraft delivered two astronauts to the ISS for the first time. Of course, the mission isn't over yet: after about a week on board the station, the two astronauts will reboard the Starliner and use it to return home. We are all looking forward to greeting them.

Boeing's Starliner approaches the ISS. Image credits: NASA
Image credits: NASA (opens in a new window)

Launch of the week

SpaceX has once again shown that subjecting rocket hardware to the real flight environment pays off. On the latest launch, the company achieved a major milestone in its Starship flight test campaign: returning the booster and upper stage to Earth in controlled ocean splashes. And I have to say that the images and video of this launch are absolutely true mind-blowing.

What we read

Economist Pierre Lionnet has taken a closer look at SpaceX's financial figures (which obviously involves a lot of assumptions, as their financials are private), and how the low launch costs for Falcon relate to Starlink's profitability – and may not be passed on to customers.

Spacex Falcon 9 rocket launches South Korea's Danuri moon orbit
Image credits: SpaceX
Image credits: SpaceX

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