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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday July 14 2016, @08:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the it'll-fly-eventually dept.

From the LA Times:

The launch manifest for Los Angeles-based Rocket Lab is starting to fill up. The small-satellite launch company said Tuesday that it has signed an agreement with Earth-imaging satellite firm Planet for three dedicated launches on its Electron rocket.

The launches will take place from the company's Mahia Penninsula launch site.

SpaceNews reports:

[...] each launch will carry is still being determined, but will likely be between 20 and 25. Each Dove is a three-unit cubesat with a mass of about five kilograms.

The schedule for the launches will depend on the development of Electron, which has yet to make its first flight. Safyan said that if the Electron test program goes well, the first Planet launch, likely to sun-synchronous orbit, could be as soon as the second quarter of 2017.

Although the terms of the deal weren't announced, Rocket Lab quotes a price of about $5 million (USD) per launch for the Electron.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Launch of Rocket Lab's Second "Electron" Rocket Due Dec. 7-8 1 comment

Rocket Lab to launch second orbital-class rocket as soon as next week

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is designed to carry small satellites to orbit, targeting a market niche microsatellite owners say is currently under-served by larger, more expensive boosters. Using nine first stage engines and a single upper stage powerplant, the rocket can deliver up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms) of payload to at 310-mile-high (500-kilometer) sun-synchronous polar orbit.

The upcoming launch will be the second by an Electron rocket. The Electron's inaugural test flight May 25 reached space after a successful first stage burn and second stage ignition, but a data reception error with ground tracking equipment prompted an early termination of the mission for safety reasons.

[...] Backed by U.S. and New Zealand venture capital funds, and investment from the New Zealand government and U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, Rocket Lab says it will sell future Electron rocket missions for $4.9 million per flight. The Electron is sized to provide a dedicated ride for small satellites that today must ride piggyback on bigger launchers.

Rocket Lab.

According to SpaceFlightNow's Launch Schedule: "Launch window: 0130-0530 GMT on 8th (8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. EST on 7th/8th)

Previously: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine
Moon Express and Rocket Lab Team Up for 2017 Lunar Mission
New Companies Begin to Target the Micro-Satellite Market
"Planet" Purchases 3 Launches from "Rocket Lab"
Rocket Lab Makes Suborbital Launch From New Zealand

Related: Vector Space Completes First Test Flight, Hoping to Expand the Small Satellite Launch Market
Vector Space Systems Partners With Virginia Space for Launches


Original Submission

Rocket Lab Makes Suborbital Launch From New Zealand 12 comments

"Made it to space. Team delighted. More to follow!" the U.S. company, founded by New Zealander Peter Beck, tweeted at 4:29 p.m. New Zealand time Thursday. It is the first test of the company's Electron Rocket from New Zealand, a country of just 4.7 million people deep in the South Pacific.

Rocket Lab aims to build a New Zealand base from which to launch small satellites into low orbit. The country is considered a prime location because rockets originating deep in the Southern Hemisphere can reach a wide range of Earth orbits.

[...] With a height of 17 meters and a diameter of 1.2 meters, and 3D-printed engines, the Electron Rocket is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 225 kilograms, according to Rocket Lab, whose investors include Lockheed Martin Corp.

Bloomberg

Related stories:
Vector Space Completes First Test Flight, Hoping to Expand the Small Satellite Launch Market
"Planet" Purchases 3 Launches from "Rocket Lab"
New Companies Begin to Target the Micro-Satellite Market
Moon Express and Rocket Lab Team Up for 2017 Lunar Mission
Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 14 2016, @10:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 14 2016, @10:54PM (#374547)

    You had me at "Rocket Lab quotes a price of about $5," it's the "million" that makes me hesitate.

  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday July 14 2016, @11:39PM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Thursday July 14 2016, @11:39PM (#374564)

    I might drive down and have a look at one of these launches.
    It's about a 14 hour drive from where I live, but the area is very nice.
    The Wikipedia article says people stay at Wairoa and visit from there, but I don't think they do, it's a total dump.
    Napier is great though.

    You should all come and visit. [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Friday July 15 2016, @01:07AM

      by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Friday July 15 2016, @01:07AM (#374593)

      You must live down south or way up north.

      I may also come for a look at the first launch....it is 7 1/2 hrs from New Plymouth where I live.

      --
      Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Friday July 15 2016, @03:38AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Friday July 15 2016, @03:38AM (#374674)

        I live in Auckland. The last time I drove to Gisbourne it took about that long, but to be honest, I'm a bit vague about Mahia.
        It's the sort of place you have to want to go to really, it's not on the way to anywhere else is it?

        • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Friday July 15 2016, @03:49AM

          by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Friday July 15 2016, @03:49AM (#374678)

          It is a bit like New Plymouth; not really on the way to anywhere and you have to have a reason to go.

          --
          Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.