DOD last week put out data on its recruiting and retention figures for the month of October, covering the active, Guard, and Reserve components of all services. In the active forces, all four services exceeded their recruiting goals. Ditto for four of the six Guard/Reserve components. One that didn’t do very well was the Air National Guard. It signed up only 588 of the 1,010 new airmen it sought, or about 58 percent. On the other hand, ANG retention was about 110 percent of its goal of 986. It’s just a single data point, and a mushy one at that, but it’s something worth watching.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.