I have covered the space beat at Ars Technica for 2.5 glorious years, and during that time, I have made a couple of observations about the community of readers here. One, you like rockets. And two, many readers here know as much, if not more, than I do about those rockets—both their history what is happening today.
The volume and diversity of new launch vehicles under development with private and public money today is both inspiring and daunting. After a lull in innovation during the 1980s and 1990s, the launch industry has undergone a renaissance in new technology and concepts, such as rapid reusability, 3D printing of engines and even entire boosters, micro-rockets, and commercial heavy lift.
There’s a lot of hype amid this excitement. Some (many?) of these vehicles will end up being vaporware. Projects invariably slip to the right side of their timelines. But as we’ve seen lately with SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket and Rocket Lab’s Electron booster, truly innovative and potentially disruptive launchers are coming to the market. And these vehicles are just the leading edge of a wave.
It takes a lot of time and effort to sort this all out and identify which ideas and companies will float above this wave. But here at the Orbiting HQ, we think we have an idea that can help. We’re going to start a newsletter focused on rockets to help readers stay on top of emerging trends, from new companies to funding, technical details, and launch schedules.
Moreover—and this is the key part—we are going to rely on input from readers to help produce it.
Ars readers can participate in several ways. First, you can subscribe to the newsletter. We will send this once a week and will not sell, share, or use your email for any purpose other than sending you the newsletter.
The second way you can help is by contributing to the newsletter. You can share a link to tell us about a story you think we should include in the newsletter. If we use your contribution, you’ll be credited with your Ars username (or left anonymous, if you’d prefer). Alternatively, you can write a short suggestion for a rocket-related story you think we should cover.
Either way, none of this works without your assistance. If no one subscribes, the project is going to blow up in our faces like an N1 rocket. If no one shares links or story ideas, we’ll have a sad and painfully brief newsletter. But if all goes well, we hope to provide you with a concise, clear, and more well-rounded picture of the launch industry today.