Enlarge / File photo of a hotfire test of a Blue Origin BE-4 engine. (credit: Blue Origin)

Welcome to Edition 6.02 of the Rocket Report! I’m on my third week at Ars, and the space beat is as busy as ever. Going forward, Eric and I will alternate work on the Rocket Report every other week. SpaceX broke its own booster reuse record this week, and a Chinese company made history with the first methane-fueled rocket to achieve orbit. Back on Earth, Blue Origin blew up an engine that was supposed to fly on ULA’s second Vulcan rocket.

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.

Zhuque-2 rocket makes history. A commercial Chinese firm named LandSpace launched its Zhuque-2 rocket July 11 (US time) and made history as the first company to send a methane-fueled launcher into orbit, beating a bevy of US vehicles to the milestone, Ars reports. In its current form, the Zhuque-2 rocket can loft a payload of up to 1.5 metric tons into a polar Sun-synchronous orbit.

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