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This post appeared as part of our Three Points Newsletter on August 29, 2022

The Space Launch System, NASA’s largest-ever rocket for human spaceflight beyond Earth orbit, made an unsuccessful attempt to get the uncrewed Orion capsule and the Artemis 1 mission off the ground on August 29. The first launch window of the incredibly complex test flight was stymied by a bleed stage that wasn’t able to sufficiently cool the core stage’s number three RS-25 main engine aboard the new SLS rocket. That finicky main engine is repurposed for SLS and flew on six Space Shuttle flights going all the way back to December 2006. NASA will try again no earlier than September 2.

Perhaps one of SpaceX’s biggest contributions to a shift in the public expectation around space flight is that rockets are now reusable. Many news packages on SLS noted that the rocket isn’t reusable, once the norm in spaceflight that only shifted for the first time in 2015. For the single-use SLS, NASA’s RS-25s are now expendable motors.

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Jon Ostrower is Editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Prior to launching TAC in June 2018, Ostrower served as Aviation Editor for CNN Worldwide, guiding the network's global coverage of the business and operations of flying. Ostrower joined CNN in 2016 following four and half years at the Wall Street Journal. Based first in Chicago and then in Washington, D.C. he covered Boeing, aviation safety and the business of global aerospace. Before that, Ostrower was editor of the award-winning FlightBlogger for Flightglobal and Flight International Magazine covering the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other new aircraft programs from 2007 to 2012. Ostrower, a Boston native, graduated from The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs with a bachelor's degree in Political Communication. He is based in Seattle.

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