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Rocket Report: Secret CIA smallsat launcher, Falcon 9 test, Soyuz passes 50

Friday February 1, 2019. 01:00 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge / The Electron launch vehicle is ready to soar. (credit: Rocket Lab)
Welcome to Edition 1.34 of the Rocket Report! We've got lots of news this week about large rockets, from New Glenn to the Falcon Heavy and Ariane 6 boosters. There's also a delightfully intriguing story about the CIA's plan during the 1960s to launch spy satellites on an as-needed basis.
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 lays off dozens of employees. Virgin Galactic laid off about 40 employees in January as it transitions from building its VSS Unity spaceship in California to launching commercial flights from southern New Mexico. The cuts were necessary 'to position our organization for the drive to commercial operations' and to 'make room for new skillsets that we need to bring in over the course of this year,' Aleanna Crane, a Virgin Galactic spokeswoman, told NM Politics.
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https://arstechnica.com/?p=1449485

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