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Rocket Lab (updates)

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DocM    14,222

 

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DocM    14,222

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,412

Feed is up. T-9:00 and counting.

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,412

Aww yeah. :yes: Great launch, very very slick-looking rocket.

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Beittil    469

Massive congratulations to RocketLab.... You go guys. Totally worth the wait. 

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DocM    14,222

WOOT!!!!

 

We have a new operational launcher!!

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flyingskippy    139

Some of the best views I have seen of space yet! 

 

Were those batteries jettisoned during the "hot swap"? 

 

Congrats RocketLab! Absolutely beautiful! 

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DocM    14,222

Yes, it was hot-swapping S2 pump batteries. Ditching the dead weight maximizes performance.

 

The payloads were for two smallsat constellations,

 

1x Planet Lab Dove Pioneer (Earth observation)

 

2x Spire Global Lemur-2 (ship tracking, meteorology)

Edited by DocM
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DocM    14,222

 

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DocM    14,222

Yup, we're going to hear a lot more from Rocket Lab....especially after they start launching from Cape Canaveral's new small launcher pads. 

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Beittil    469

I guess they could make use of LC39-C as well!

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DocM    14,222

Rocket Lab flew a Fregat-style kick stage on Electron named "Curie". Looks like there's plenty of room for extra or larger tanks.

 

Powered by a green monopropllant, which may be the shear-thinning monopropellant they developed under a 2011 DARPA contract.

 

Way to go, guys!

 

http://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-launch-also-tested-new-kick-stage/

Quote


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.  The successful launch of Rocket Labs Electron rocket Jan. 20 also tested a kick stage designed to circularize the orbits of its satellite payloads.

The company said Jan. 23 that the Electron carried a kick stage for the two Lemur-2 cubesats it launched for Spire. The kick stage separated from the Electrons upper stage and, after a 40-minute coast phase, fired an engine called Curie to circularize its orbits before releasing the cubesats.

The Electrons upper stage placed the kick stage, as well as a Dove cubesat from Planet, into orbits of approximately 300 by 500 kilometers. Data from the U.S. Strategic Commands Space Track website shows that three of the objects, not identified but believed to be the two Lemur-2 cubesats and the kick stage, are in orbits with perigees of 490 to 500 kilometers and apogees of 530 to 535 kilometers, far more circular than the other objects tracked from the launch.
>
Beck said the stage could perform a number of applications to change orbits of its payloads, but didn't disclose technical specifications like the stages total delta-v. The stage could also lower its orbit after satellite deployments to minimize its time in orbit before reentry. "We can be much more conscious and deliberate about ensuring we dont leave stuff behind," he said.
>


curie-kickstage.thumb.jpg.c61d2dd4e963041515dc5ed528d614e5.jpg

 

 

Edited by DocM
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DocM    14,222

 

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DocM    14,222

 

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DocM    14,222

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,412

My bet is they'll announce two: VAFB and Wallops. VAFB (for the Polar Azimuth flights there's no better place to launch from) and Wallops (because that place needs more activity and the Cape is pretty full up right now with SpaceX, NASA, DOD & ULA).

 

Barring Wallops, the Cape could always break in the new Light Pads with Rocket Lab. It'd be perfect, really.

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DocM    14,222
Posted (edited)

They can do polar and SSO from NZ, which will remain open for business.

 

It was my understanding their lead  candidate was at KSC LC-48; one of  two new small launcher pads situated between LC-39A and LC-41.

 

Good for LEO and SSO, and polar capable if they install an autonomous flight termination system like Falcon 9/Heavy - which IS being commercialized.

Edited by DocM
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Beittil    469

How about they get that "It's business time" launched first :D

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DocM    14,222

They will once that dodgy downrange tracking station gets fixed.

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Beittil    469

Ow, that tracking station was fixed on the same day!

 

It was the same motor controller issue that bit them back in April again that stalled the launch...

 

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