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Thread: Rocket Labs Electron: first flight (NZ-USA small satellite launcher)

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default Rocket Labs Electron: first flight (NZ-USA small satellite launcher)

    Here we go....

    Rocket Lab of NZ and the USA has been working on Electron, a mini-Falcon 9 configuration smallsat launcher, and it's innovative Rutherford engine.

    Rutherford is unique because it's 3D printed and uses electric motor driven turbopumps rather than being driven by a gas generator. Pump power is by lithium-polymer batteries.

    Rocket Lab has a Space Act Agreement with NASA, and has received a $6.95m NASA Venture Class Launch Services contract. US launches may fly from KSC LC-39C, a new small satellite launch complex within the perimeter of LC-39B - the NASA SLS pad.

    Payload: 150kg / 500 km sun-synchronous orbit
    Launch site1 : Mahia Peninsula, North Island, NZ

    They are also signed up to launch Moon Express MX-1E, a Google Lunar X-Prize entrant, to the Moon.



    https://www.rocketlabusa.com

    http://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-sets....erY2nDeT.dpuf

    Rocket Lab sets date for first Electron launch

    WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab, the U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, plans to carry out its first flight in a window that opens May 21.

    The company announced May 14 that a 10-day window for the first Electron launch, which the company has dubbed “It’s a Test,” will open at 5 p.m. Eastern May 21 (9 a.m. local time May 22) from the company’s launch site at Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island.

    “We are all incredibly excited to get to this point,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a statement about the planned launch. “Our talented team has been preparing for years for this opportunity and we want to do our best to get it right.”
    >
    Rutherford (red = electric pump, blue = thrust vector control)








    Test firing
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 14th May 2017 at 20:03.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

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  2. #2
    MURCer
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    Launch today canceled because of high wind..
    paulw

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    GO GETUM KIWI's!!

    Not quite to orbit but a clean launch. Telemetry should tell them what to fix.



    Story
    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/new...ectid=11862250

    https://www.rocketlabusa.com/latest/...it-to-space-2/

    Rocket Lab broke new ground today when its Electron rocket reached space at 16:23 NZST.

    Electron lifted-off at 16:20 NZST from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. It was the first orbital-class rocket launched from from a private launch site in the world.

    It has been an incredible day and Im immensely proud of our talented team, said Peter Beck, CEO and founder of Rocket Lab. Were one of a few companies to ever develop a rocket from scratch and we did it in under four years. Weve worked tirelessly to get to this point. Weve developed everything in house, built the worlds first private orbital launch range, and weve done it with a small team.

    It was a great flight. We had a great first stage burn, stage separation, second stage ignition and fairing separation. We didnt quite reach orbit and well be investigating why, however reaching space in our first test puts us in an incredibly strong position to accelerate the commercial phase of our programme, deliver our customers to orbit and make space open for business, says Beck.

    Over the coming weeks, Rocket Labs engineers in Los Angeles and Auckland, New Zealand will work through the 25,000 data channels that were collected during. The results will inform measures taken to optimize the vehicle.

    We have learnt so much through this test launch and will learn even more in the weeks to come. Were committed to making space accessible and this is a phenomenal milestone in that journey. The applications doing this will open up are endless. Known applications include improved weather reporting, Internet from space, natural disaster prediction, up-to-date maritime data as well as search and rescue services, says Beck.

    Todays launch was the first of three test flights scheduled for this year. Rocket Lab will target getting to orbit on the second test and look to maximize the payload the rocket can carry.

    At full production, Rocket Lab expects to launch more than 50 times a year, and is regulated to launch up to 120 times a year. In comparison, there were 22 launches last year from the United States, and 82 internationally.

    Rocket Labs commercial phase will see Electron fly already-signed customers including NASA, Spire, Planet, Moon Express and Spaceflight.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Need some work on roll control, guidance and the rocketcam telemetry, but they're off to a good start.

    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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