Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Wednesday May 10 2017, @01:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the we've-come-a-long-ways dept.

Is there room for launch companies smaller than the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX?

Vector Space Systems successfully launched a full-scale model of its Vector-R rocket on Wednesday in Mojave, California. The test flight, which remained under 50,000 feet for regulatory purposes, allows the company to remain on track to begin providing launch services for small satellites in 2018, said Jim Cantrell, the company's chief executive and cofounder.

The Arizona-based rocket company is one of a handful of competitors racing to the launch pad to provide lower-cost access to space for small satellites. These satellites are generally under 500kg in mass and often much smaller (the industry trend is toward smaller, lighter, more capable satellites). The Vector-R rocket will eventually be capable of launching a payload of up to 45kg to an orbit of 800km above the Earth. Other companies trying to reach this market include US-based Virgin Orbit and New Zealand-based Rocket Lab. Neither company has begun commercial launches.

[...] The market seems ready for micro-launchers. For now, smaller payloads must typically "share" rides to space on larger rockets, and they cannot count on a launch date. Instead of being treated as excess cargo, Vector intends to offer these small satellites the capability to launch within three months of demand. Vector will launch these small payloads into any desired orbit from Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska or Cape Canaveral in Florida. Launch costs will range from $2 million to $3 million.

Also at NASASpaceFlight.

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday May 10 2017, @03:47PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 10 2017, @03:47PM (#507587)

    Thats a nice price. I suspect the amateur radio satellite naming scheme is going to need a lot more than two digits going forward.

    Imagine in the old days of AO-13 or listening to RS-10 on your HF receiver (I did the latter in the 80s), yah know, like that Bill Gates guy said 640K should be enough for anybody, here I am listening to telemetry morse code from RS-10 and two digits of satellite name should be enough for anybody.

    And EO-88 was launched like last year. The budget is dropping to like DXpedition levels (or DXpeditions are rising to satellite levels LOL)

    It blows my mind that I'm still listening to UO-11 once in awhile, 30 years later. Its only barely working partially, but working at all is kinda impressive. Back when the digitalker was working that was interesting.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2