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Rocket Report: Big dreams in Sin City; SpaceX and FAA seek to halt lawsuit

The final Ariane 5 launch vehicle liftoff for flight VA261 as seen from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on Wednesday.

Enlarge / The final Ariane 5 launch vehicle liftoff for flight VA261 as seen from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on Wednesday. (credit: ESA/S. Corvaja)

Welcome to Edition 6.01 of the Rocket Report! Due to the fact that we are up to Edition 6, it means that Ars has been publishing this newsletter for five years. I genuinely want to thank everyone for their contributions over the years, whether you’ve submitted a story (Ken the Bin for MVP?) or just passed the newsletter along to a friend to subscribe. Also, starting next week our new space hire, Stephen Clark, will alternate publication of the newsletter with me. Hopefully, there will be no missed issues going forward.

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.

Virgin Galactic flies commercial mission. The space tourism company founded by Richard Branson launched three Italian researchers and three company employees on the suborbital operator’s first commercial flight to the edge of space on June 29, Ars reports. The spacecraft rocketed to an altitude of more than 279,000 feet, higher than the 50-mile height recognized as the boundary of space by NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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