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2014 begins with the roar of commercial rockets

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2014 has begun to the roar of commercial rockets.

The berthing of the latest Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo ship to the International Space Station on January 12, 2014 is the latest occurrence of what promises to be an eventful year for commercial space. The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo successfully completed its third supersonic flight on January 10 in its quest to become the first purely commercial crewed spacecraft, taking paying passengers on suborbital jaunts. Previously SpaceX, better known for its Dragon spacecraft and its own crewed spacecraft program, successfully launched a communications satellite into orbit.

2014 will see more commercially operated cargo flights to the ISS, more SpaceX satellite launches, and more tests of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft. Virgin Galactic has good hopes of putting SpaceShipTwo into space in 2014, flying the same profile that its commercial flights will make. Whether it will also start making commercial flights this year or the next remains to be seen.

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