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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.


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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: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday July 14 2016, @11:20PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday July 14 2016, @11:20PM (#374556) Journal

    Compare to SpaceX, the leader in cheap launches:

    http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities [spacex.com]

    $62 million for Falcon 9, $90 million for Falcon Heavy. Variable payload based on your desired destination (it seems that you could send 4,020 kg to Mars for $62 million, or more than triple that for $90 million).

    The Electron [wikipedia.org] has a payload of 150 kg to a Sun-synchronous orbit for $4.9 million.

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