Another Atlas V success for United Launch Alliance. Good for them: it's a superb record, even if it costs (by some published estimates) about $400M (total program costs divided by launches) to get to orbit.
A daring plan by SpaceX: Elon Musk and company are going to launch their Falcon 9v1.1 next week, bring the first stage back, and land it on a barge. Nothing like this has been done: it hasn't even been tried. Musk thinks the reusability will enable steep cost cuts: we'll have to see if that works out, technically and financially. Anyway, the grid-like fins on the first stage look really cool.
The NASA Space Launch System is in more trouble: technical challenges have pushed the first launch back to 2018. The GAO isn't at all sure NASA can make that, even though NASA funding in the just-passed omnibus bill got a plus-up.
RD-180: Congress has ordered DoD to phase out the Russian RD-180 (which the Atlas V depends on - Delta uses the US-made RS68, and SpaceX builds it own engines). Congress also appropriated funding to start building an American-made replacement. Earlier this year, a DoD panel said a new engine could be ready in 2022. I'm at a loss to understand why it would take longer to build a new engine than it took to not only build the F1 engine, but build the Saturn V and fly the whole thing to the Moon.
So... we have two positives (Atlas success and SpaceX test: it may or may not work, but they get major props for being willing to try something radical), and two negatives. We can get to space: we can't get there quickly or cheaply. There's a lot more work to do.
NASA SLS. The agency is being disingenuous by showing it with the Saturn V paint scheme: it will not be painted. (NASA)