Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Watch Rocket Lab send its first commercial rocket to space

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket soars above its Mahia Peninsula launchpad ROCKET LABRocket Lab's Electron rocket soars above its Mahia Peninsula launchpad
Sandra Phillips | 13 November, 2018, 10:52

"We chose to build and launch two more satellites over the past few months and Rocket Lab has moved at the speed of light to incorporate them in this mission, assist us with licensing and complete integration in record time", commented Fleet Space Technologies chief executive Flavia Tata Nardini recently.

A Rocket Lab Electron booster lifts off from the Mahia Peninsula on 10 Nov, 2018, carrying six small satellites and a technology demonstrator for the company's "It's Business Time", mission.

The Electron rocket is 1.2 metres in diameter and 17 metres in height. Keep in mind that an Electron costs just $5.7 million, compared to up to $50 million for a Falcon 9 rocket, according to Forbes.

A scrappy American rocket startup just set the bar in the red-hot market for companies that launch small satellites. In December, the company plans to further this Mission, the USA space Agency Nasa. The company plans to be ready to launch rockets weekly in 2020.

Rocket Lab's Electron Rocket took off from its launch pad at 4.50pm today. Rocket Lab's Electron rocket uses 3D-printed engines and is created to send small payloads, such as imaging and communications satellites weighing up to 150 kilograms, into space.

Two of them belonged to the start-up Spire and will be used to track ships, planes and weather in remote parts of the world, while Tyvak Nano-Satellite System also put up a weather satellite.

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‘Halt all hostile acts’: North Korea accuses US, Seoul of violating pact
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Russo brothers just trolled fans yet again over the 'Avengers 4' title
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There's a new name in commercial space we could hear a lot more in the months to come.

Although the going-rate for deliveries is much lower for SpaceX, customers are flocking to Rocket Lab for reduced wait time and speedier deliveries.

Rocket Lab succeeded this weekend in moving from a company testing its rocket to one that has truly begun commercial operations.

"This year has been about scaling our team, facilities and processes to enable reliable, high frequency Electron launches to orbit", Mr Beck said.

Rocket Lab, though, faced two false starts trying to get its third rocket to launch.

The company was started by Beck, a largely self-taught engineer, who dreamed of building rockets since his childhood growing up on New Zealand's South Island. Beck estimates there are over 100 companies trying to catch up.

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