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posted by martyb on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the competition++ dept.

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


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday December 07 2017, @10:50PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday December 07 2017, @10:50PM (#607025) Journal

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/07/rocket-lab-pushes-back-second-electron-launch-by-one-day/ [spaceflightnow.com]

    Rocket Lab plans to roll out the company’s second light-class Electron rocket to its launch pad in New Zealand on Thursday for final countdown preparations, but officials have delayed liftoff to no earlier than Friday night, U.S. time.

    The Electron booster, standing roughly 55 feet (17 meters) tall, could blast off from Rocket Lab’s commercial launch pad as soon as 0130 GMT Saturday (8:30 p.m. EST Friday) at the opening of a four-hour launch window. The launch opportunity opens at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in New Zealand.

    When they are ready to start, link to live stream should probably be here: https://twitter.com/rocketlab?lang=en [twitter.com]

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