Rocket Report: Russia finally agrees to fly SpaceX, Firefly targets early 2022

A rocket sits on a launch pad during a purple- and gold-streaked dawn.

Enlarge / Crew Dragon at sunrise on Thursday April 28. (credit: SpaceX)

Welcome to Edition 4.22 of the Rocket Report! Please note there will be no report next week, as the author will be taking the week off. Also, I wanted to say that Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of the British-built Black Arrow rocket successfully reaching orbit for the first time. The Black Arrow program was canceled the same year, after the British government decided it would be cheaper to use US-built Scout rockets for its needs.

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.

ABL Space raises $200 million. Small-launch company ABL Space Systems has raised an additional $200 million just seven months after a $170 million round, SpaceNews reports. The original Series B valued the company at $1.3 billion, while the expanded round nearly doubles that to $2.4 billion. Dan Piemont, president and co-founder of ABL, said the company still has most of the $170 million it raised in March, describing the new round as “somewhat opportunistic and driven by insider interest.”

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