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  Rocket Lab's Electron composite launch vehicle

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Author Topic:   Rocket Lab's Electron composite launch vehicle
SkyMan1958
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Posts: 665
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 07-29-2014 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rocket Lab Ltd. release
Rocket Lab USA poised to change the space industry

Rocket Lab announced today (July 29) its plan to revolutionize the global space industry with the creation of Electron, a lightweight, cost-effective rocket, making it easier for companies to launch small satellites into orbit.

Rocket Lab is building the world's first carbon-composite launch vehicle at its Auckland, New Zealand facility. The development of Electron will reduce the price of delivering a satellite into orbit. At a cost of less than $5 million dollars, this represents a drastic cost reduction compared to existing dedicated launch services.

The lead-time for businesses to launch a satellite will also be reduced from years down to weeks through vertical integration with Rocket Lab's private launch facility. Rocket Lab has already garnered strong commercial demand with commitments for its first 30 launches.

Electron is 18m in length, 1m diameter and will weigh more than 10 tons. This will be the first vehicle of its class capable of delivering payloads up to 100kg into low Earth orbits (LEO).

Peter Beck founded the company in 2007 with the vision of eliminating the commercial barriers to space. Until now, rockets have remained prohibitively large and expensive, despite the trend for satellites to become smaller, more capable and affordable. Rocket Lab will help to fulfill the deficit in launch systems by helping to break the cost barrier to commercial ventures and for the emerging satellite constellation markets.

"The innovation behind Electron will release the limitations on launching small satellites. Our vision at Rocket Lab is to make space commercially viable and more accessible than ever, doing what the Ford Model T did for consumer automobiles. This technology will really open space for business," said Mr. Beck, CEO, Rocket Lab.

"Along with benefits for commercial enterprises, cheaper and faster space access has the potential to lead to more accurate weather prediction, global high speed Internet access, as well as real-time monitoring of the impacts of human development," said Mr. Beck.

Rocket Lab's principal funder is top-tier Silicon Valley venture firm, Khosla Ventures, which has a long track record of backing breakthrough technologies that revolutionize industries.

Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, says it is exciting to see to the technology and innovation coming out of Rocket Lab.

"We are thrilled to be investing in the next chapter of Rocket Lab's development as they drive down the cost of launch vehicles to provide greater access to space," said Mr. Khosla.

"The company's technical innovations will truly transform the space industry."

TRS
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Posts: 672
From: Wellington, New Zealand
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 06-30-2015 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New Zealand-based Rocket Labs is expected to announce their launch facility tomorrow.
Rocket Lab has applied for consents with the Canterbury Regional Council to build a launch complex on Bayleys Rd, Kaitorete Spit, near the township of Birdlings Flat.

...the facility would be able to launch 100 times a year at a cost of $US4.9m, which the company's chief executive Peter Beck said was much cheaper than the average $US130m launch cost.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 37210
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-27-2016 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rocket Lab release
Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 Ready for Launches

Rocket Lab is pleased to announce the completion of the world's first private orbital launch complex, Launch Complex 1.

Located on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, Launch Complex 1 is set to enable the highest frequency of space launches in history. The facility will be the primary site for launches of Rocket Lab's Electron vehicle, designed to lift a 150 kg payload to a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit.

New Zealand's remote island location and low volume of marine and air traffic create ideal conditions for frequent launch opportunities. In addition, launches from the site can access a uniquely wide range of orbital inclinations – from 39 degrees through sun-synchronous.

Facilities at Launch Complex 1 include a vehicle processing hangar where the vehicle will be prepared for launch as well as a 50 tonne launch platform. The platform will tilt forward to lift the rocket to a vertical position prior to launch.

Satellites launched from the complex will be used to provide services including optimized crop monitoring, improved weather reporting, internet from space, natural disaster prediction, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services.

Rocket Lab has completed major milestones this year with the qualification of the 3D printed Rutherford engine, qualification of the second stage of the Electron rocket and the development of major infrastructure including remote tracking, test facilities and the launch site. The company is currently working through the qualification of the first stage of the Electron rocket and will look to begin the test flight phase once qualification and launch licensing are complete.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 37210
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-16-2017 07:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rocket Lab release
Electron Arrives at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1

Rocket Lab delivered its first Electron vehicle to Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 late last night (Feb. 15) marking the beginning of pre-flight checkouts.

The rocket was trucked to the Mahia Peninsula from Rocket Lab's Auckland facility.

"It's an important milestone for our team and for the space industry. In the past, it's been countries that go to space, not companies," said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab's CEO. "Through the innovative use of new technologies our team has created a launch vehicle designed for manufacture at scale. Our ultimate goal is to change our ability to access space."

"Since we commenced this project three years ago, our team has accomplished an incredible amount – the vehicle has gone through rigorous qualification and acceptance testing, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 has been completed and major tracking infrastructure has been installed in remote locations."

Over the coming weeks, a series of tests and checkouts will be conducted at the site before the rocket, named It's a Test, is signed-off to fly.

"We put it out to our team to name the vehicle," said Beck. "We wanted to acknowledge the intensive research and development Electron has undergone and that continues with these test flights."

The launch, which will be the first orbital launch attempt from New Zealand, is the first of three planned tests before Rocket Lab begins providing customers commercial satellite launches.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 37210
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2017 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rocket Lab release
Electron Test Launch Window Announced

Here we go! We are about to open a 10 day launch attempt window from May 22, 2017, for the first launch attempt of our Electron rocket.

The launch, titled "It's a Test," will take place from our private orbital launch site, Launch Complex 1, on the Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand.

This is a significant milestone for Rocket Lab and the space industry globally. We are about to enter the next phase of the Electron program, which will see the culmination of years of work from our dedicated team here at Rocket Lab.

"It's a Test" is all about gathering data. There are over 20,000 channels collected during the flight. We will use this information to learn and iterate.

As with any new rocket, there are a lot of factors that come together ahead of a test and we're not going to fly unless we're ready. It's highly possible we will scrub multiple attempts as we fine tune and wait for favorable weather conditions.

We're committed to making space accessible. Thanks for your interest and support — it means a lot to us.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 37210
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-25-2017 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rocket Lab release
Rocket Lab successfully makes it to space

Rocket Lab broke new ground today [May 25] when its Electron rocket reached space at 16:23 NZST.

Electron lifted-off at 16:20 NZST [12:20 a.m. EDT; 0420 GMT] 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 I'm immensely proud of our talented team," said Peter Beck, CEO and founder of Rocket Lab. "We're one of a few companies to ever develop a rocket from scratch and we did it in under four years. We've worked tirelessly to get to this point. We've developed everything in house, built the world's first private orbital launch range, and we've 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 didn't quite reach orbit and we'll 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 Lab's 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. We're 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.

Today's 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 Lab's commercial phase will see Electron fly already-signed customers including NASA, Spire, Planet, Moon Express and Spaceflight.

All times are CT (US)

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