On The Daily Circuit, we take a look at a number of things on the horizon:
• Friday's SpaceX Falcon launch
• NASA launched the first test flight of its Orion spaceship on Dec. 5, heralding the dawn of a new era in deep space exploration. But all is not well with a spacecraft and launch system that NASA can only afford to launch once every three to four years and has no plans or budget for more than test flights.
• Orbital Sciences Corporation announced it will be sidelined for at least another year following a launch pad explosion in October. This leaves SpaceX as NASA's only commercial provider for cargo flights to the International Space Station for at least the next 12 months.
• Virgin Galactic is building a replacement spaceship as Richard Branson vows to move forward and an investigation continues following last Halloween's fatal crash of SpaceShipTwo.