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Rocket Lab (updates)

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Beittil    505

 

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Draggendrop    5,442
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For reference, it will be on an existing US launch site (either the Cape, Vandenberg, Wallops or Kodiak):

https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/1052515152367513600

 

I would guess that it's the Cape or Wallops.

 

Wallops is not as busy, has NASA footprint, roughly the same trajectories and easy transportation...possibly even local taxation support....my "monopoly money" is on the Wallops "square".

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Draggendrop    5,442
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We are thrilled to announce Wallops Flight Facility as the location of Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2!

https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1052559822950825985

 

 

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Rocket Lab confirms its US launch site will be based at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, company’s first launch from there set for third quarter 2019.

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/1052560235368501248

 

 

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Shannon Valentine, Virginia Sec. of Transportation: governor signed a $5M grant last night that will be going towards this partnership.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1052561921365483520

 

 

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They will start work on construction immediately. It'll support 30 jobs. It'll closely mirror their current launch site with the integration and control buildings.

Dptzb68XgAA_VDV.thumb.jpg.3911480eadd94552c93164cb081621c5.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1052561928696918016

 

 

 

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Why Wallops? Beck: they supported an aggressive time scale, and had the team and infrastructure. It’s also a “quiet” range [i.e., not a lot of other launches] to support our desired flight rate.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1052564565337231361

 

 

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Nash and Valentine say exact value of incentives they provided to Rocket Lab is proprietary, but includes not just financial ones but other resources, like an available workforce for building launch facility and operating it.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1052565011468574721

 

 

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Beck: LC-1 pad in New Zealand will be the high-frequency pad for us; LC-2 will be a ”boutique” pad for customers with specific requirements. Can serve orbits from 38–60˚ inclination from Wallops.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1052568931892912128

 

 

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Wallops is excited and proud to welcome @RocketLab to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

https://twitter.com/NASA_Wallops/status/1052563228016939009

 

 

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We have officially broken ground at Launch Complex 2! Construction crews rolling in soon. First launch in Q3 2019.

DpuSc8mVsAAbwxn.thumb.jpg.f9f1e8f348feb898736ee21dfdba57dd.jpg

https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1052595981680697345

 

------------------------------------

 

My next prediction ......... The usual detractors will spout off about 2 launch sites and 2 launches so far, will also spout off about a lot of media coverage and over saturation.

 

Sound familiar.....

 

Some forget who the backers of Rocket Lab are and the type of pull they have. By next year, after a few launches for rhythm, Beck will be saying..."hold my beer" and the "mini me steam roller will start".  (assuming motor controller addressed, which I am sure it is/has been)

 

 

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DocM    15,201

Rocket Lab and Firefly look to be good designs. The question is if their launch price will be cheaper that flying as a secondary payload.

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Draggendrop    5,442
4 hours ago, DocM said:

Rocket Lab and Firefly look to be good designs. The question is if their launch price will be cheaper that flying as a secondary payload.

personal analysis...

 

This is the problem that created small sat launchers in the numbers we see today.

 

Riding secondary means one looses control of preferred launch date and orbital allocation. It's generally like sharing a cab and as you approach the block in need, during the appropriate season, you open the door and fall out of the moving cab.

 

Riding secondary is a PITA and the costs of a small sat launcher can be justified with important smaller payloads that can generate timely revenue/data.

 

The 300 kg range is a lot of payload for modern high tech packages.

 

There are presently more small payloads than launchers, and there are a lot of launcher startups. The ones who get out of the gate and can sustain cadence for a reasonable price, within the next year or two, will control the larger portion of this "mass class" for quite some time. We saw this coming a few years ago and it will be long term.

 

my 2 cents...

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Draggendrop    5,442
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Another @SpireGlobal Lemur-2 successfully integrated for #ItsBusinessTime! We’ve got two of these birds tucked into Maxwell dispensers for launch on the next Electron flight in November.

https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1054541637475479552

 

DqJ8BiFV4AAi3vi.thumb.jpg.612168dc30d15ef66d8fdd3a534b8147.jpg

 

 

 

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Just one Lemur short of a conspiracy, and we're already counting down!

https://twitter.com/SpireGlobal/status/1054550203095703552

 

// reference the above tweet by Rocket Lab

 

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DocM    15,201

 

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Draggendrop    5,442

Rocket Lab to return in November – includes additional payloads

 

2018-08-06-144548.thumb.jpg.52789276a807f2f241ec3187735689b9.jpg

 

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Rocket Lab has confirmed its return to launch action in November, with a realigned attempt to launch the “It’s Business Time” mission from its private orbital launch pad in New Zealand, Launch Complex-1 set for November 11. The scrubbed attempt in June required the replacement of motor controllers on the rocket. In announcing the new date, two additional spacecraft will ride on the Electron, while the company also noted it would take the opportunity to conduct the fast turnaround processing that it hopes will become commonplace for the Electron rocket, with a second launch – for NASA – the following month, in December.

 

A few months ago, via a previously embargoed release, Rocket Lab said the “It’s Business Time” mission will launch in November, with the ELaNa XIX mission for NASA to follow soon after – hopefully in December – from the same LC-1 pad. On Tuesday, Rocket Lab confirmed the date as November 11.

 

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In the run up to the launch date being set, Rocket Lab also noted they had accepted two additional passengers to ride on their upcoming launch.

 

Fleet Space Technologies’ two ‘Proxima’ satellites are the first scheduled launch of commercial CubeSats from an Australian company during this November mission – which will form the foundation of a global IoT communications constellation providing internet connectivity to remote regions of the planet.

 

The Proxima I and II satellites are a pair of identical 1.5 U CubeSats designed and built by Fleet. The satellites will mark the first commercial tests of Fleet’s software-defined radios, enabling it to transmit data efficiently across both S-band and L-band frequencies in space.

 

“We’re thrilled to add Fleet’s Proxima satellites to the It’s Business Time manifest. Fleet’s planned constellation of more than 100 satellites will enable greater connectivity across the globe and provide better access to data about our planet,” noted Rocket Lab Chief Executive, Peter Beck.

 

2018-10-30-20_47_24-Rocket-Lab-on-Twitter_-_Welcome-aboard-@fleetspace-Two-Proxima-satellites-have-.thumb.jpg.04840956ff58f2879eeb5650692296cc.jpg

 

 

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Now Rocket Lab has noted that, following analysis, the motor controllers have been modified and – as such – required new qualification testing ahead of the next launch which won’t take place until November.

 

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The mission is also NASA’s first ever Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) mission, constituting the smallest class of dedicated launch services used by NASA.

more at the link...

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/rocket-lab-return-november-follow-nasa-launch/

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,442
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#ItsBusinessTime is on the pad.

DrERU2CVYAA3RA_.thumb.jpg.350ac5819d0de85bc705440b376d9f57.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/Peter_J_Beck/status/1058646444574355457

 

----------------------------------------

 

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Nov. 10/11    Electron • It’s Business Time

 

Launch window: 0300-0700 GMT on 11th (10 p.m.-2 a.m. EST on 10th/11th)


Launch site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

 

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its third flight, which Rocket Lab calls “It’s Business Time,” from a facility on the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. Two commercial CubeSats for Spire Global’s weather and ship tracking constellation, and one small satellite for GeoOptics’ commercial remote sensing network will be aboard the rocket. A Curie upper stage will place the satellites into the proper orbit. Delayed from April 20. Scrubbed on June 23 and June 26. [Oct. 31]

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

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Draggendrop    5,442

Tim has an analysis of the next launch here...

 https://everydayastronaut.com/prelaunch-preview-electron-its-business-time/

 

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LIFT OFF TIME

November 11th, 2018 at 3:00 UTC (Beginning of a 9 day launch window)
 

MISSION NAME AND WHAT IT IS

It’s Business Time – First commercial launch for Rocket Lab

 

LAUNCH PROVIDER (WHAT ROCKET COMPANY IS LAUNCHING IT?)

Rocket Lab

 

CUSTOMER (WHO’S PAYING FOR THIS?)

Spire Global (Lemur-2 cubesats), GeoOptics (Tyvak NANO-Sat systems), Fleet (Proxima Satellites), Irvine01 (Irvine CubeSat), NABEO (Drag Sail demonstrator by High Performance Space Structure Systems GmBH)

 

LAUNCH LOCATION

Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

 

PAYLOAD MASS

Less than 250 KG

 

WHERE’S THE SATELLITE GOING?

Near Polar Orbit – 85 Degrees – 500 km x 500 km

------------------------------

 

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Nov. 10/11    Electron • It’s Business Time

 

Launch window: 0300-0700 GMT on 11th (10 p.m.-2 a.m. EST on 10th/11th)


Launch site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

 

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its third flight, which Rocket Lab calls “It’s Business Time,” from a facility on the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. Two commercial CubeSats for Spire Global’s weather and ship tracking constellation, and one small satellite for GeoOptics’ commercial remote sensing network will be aboard the rocket. A Curie upper stage will place the satellites into the proper orbit. Delayed from April 20. Scrubbed on June 23 and June 26. [Oct. 31]

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

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Draggendrop    5,442
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At this stage, we are go for launch in T-46 hours.

https://twitter.com/Peter_J_Beck/status/1060763524673232896

 

--------------------------------------

 

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Nov. 10/11    Electron • It’s Business Time

 

Launch window: 0300-0700 GMT on 11th (10 p.m.-2 a.m. EST on 10th/11th)


Launch site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

 

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its third flight, which Rocket Lab calls “It’s Business Time,” from a facility on the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. Two commercial CubeSats for Spire Global’s weather and ship tracking constellation, and one small satellite for GeoOptics’ commercial remote sensing network will be aboard the rocket. A Curie upper stage will place the satellites into the proper orbit. Delayed from April 20. Scrubbed on June 23 and June 26. [Oct. 31]

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

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Draggendrop    5,442
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The @RocketLab Electron No. 3 LAUNCH from Mahia on schedule at 0350 UTC

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1061466253724917761

 

 

DrsV9zmVYAAnp-w.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/genejm29/status/1061466303565873152

 

 

DrsXJ7nUUAAArVO.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/b0yle/status/1061467620124241920

 

 

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Leave it to @rocketlab to make separation beautiful. Check out that curvature of the Earth! Fly Lemurs! Fly! #ItsBusinessTime

 

 

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Electron is in orbit! The second stage Rutherford engine has shut down after reaching a preliminary parking orbit. Another burn by the rocket’s Curie kick stage is planned in about 40 minutes. https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/11/10/rocket-lab-its-business-time-mission-status-center/ …

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,442
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ELECTRON IS ORBITAL!!! Stage two shutdown confirmed. Curie separation confirmed. #ItsBusinessTime @RocketLab

 

 

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Stage 2 shutdown - orbital. Coasting for over 40 mins with the kick stage.

 

 

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#ItsBusinessTime #Rocketlab - Right now the vehicle is in a coast phase and coverage will resume in about 45: min to present deployment of the customer payloads.

https://twitter.com/genejm29/status/1061469359355449345

 

can follow the rest here...

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/11/10/rocket-lab-its-business-time-mission-status-center/

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,442
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A launch like this needs to accomplish 5 things: (1) get out of atmosphere (2) get to orbital velocity (3) get to target orbit height (4) get to the right velocity for target orbit (5) separate payloads. We are at 3 and about to do 4.

 

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1061478678461321218

 

 

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The Curie kick stage has ignited for a planned 105-second firing to circularize its orbit at an altitude of around 310 miles (500 kilometers) before deployment of the mission's six nanosatellites.

The kick stage burns a non-toxic “green” monopropellant, but specific details of the fuel have not been released by Rocket Lab.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/11/10/rocket-lab-its-business-time-mission-status-center/

 

 

DrshoFzX4AsB_Gi.jpg

 

 

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All payloads deployed!!

https://twitter.com/Peter_J_Beck/status/1061479809732112384

 

Just a matter of waiting for satellite health from the bunch...

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Draggendrop    5,442
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Rocket Lab has declared success on today’s mission, the first operational launch by the company’s Electron rocket. All six satellites have deployed fro the Curie kick stage. https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/11/10/rocket-lab-its-business-time-mission-status-center/ …

https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1061480526450753536

 

simulation...

 

DrsiuAZU0AInuYL.jpg

 

 

DrsivNHVYAEzkDP.jpg

 

😎

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DocM    15,201

 

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Draggendrop    5,442

Just got the full webcast...

 

It's Business Time Launch - 11/11/2018

1:18:38

 

  I've been ninja'd by Doc....

 

Double the fun now...

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DocM    15,201

Animation showing how the Curie kick stage works,

 

 

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DocM    15,201

 

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Beittil    505

Well, they need to work on the 'rapid' part 😛

 

Anyway, yay grats.

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Draggendrop    5,442
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#ItsBusinessTime mission patches now available in the Rocket Lab store! https://shop.rocketlab.co.nz/collections/accessories/products/mission-patch-its-business-time …

 

https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1061789052674818048

 

 

-------------------------------------------

 

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The next one is getting ready to ship!

DrxOnC0UwAAHKuP.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/Peter_J_Beck/status/1061810054385430528

 

 

 

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After It’s Business Time, the next Electron off the pad will be NASA’s 19th Educational Launch of Nanosatellites mission, or ELaNa-XIX. The launch is manifested with innovative research and development payloads from NASA and educational institutions that will conduct a wide variety of new, on-orbit science. Applications of the CubeSats booked on the mission include research such as measuring radiation in the Van Allen belts to understand their impact on spacecraft, through to monitoring space weather. The mission is also NASA’s first ever Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) mission, constituting the smallest class of dedicated launch services used by NASA. It marks a significant milestone for Rocket Lab in providing such access to space for a NASA-sponsored mission of small satellites.

https://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-to-launch-its-business-time-and-elana-xix-missions-weeks-apart/

 

 

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“With two orbital launches down for 2018, we’re not resting on our laurels. We have a burgeoning customer manifest, so we’re moving onto the next mission within a few weeks – the incredibly exciting ELaNa 19 mission for NASA in December.” 

https://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-reaches-orbit-again-deploys-more-satellites/

 

 

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December  Electron • VCLS 1

Launch window: TBD
Launch site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its fourth flight from a facility on the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. The mission will be conducted under contract to NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services Program, carrying 10 CubeSats to orbit for NASA field centers and U.S. educational institutions. Delayed from 3rd Quarter. [Aug. 9]

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

 

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Draggendrop    5,442

Rocket Lab raises an additional $140 million

 

rocketlab-factory.thumb.jpg.8e4535bb164cc946e7c8e546e1e0a586.jpg

Rocket Lab recently opened a new factory in New Zealand to support plans to build and launch its Electron rockets on a weekly basis. Credit: Rocket Lab

 

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WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab, the small launch vehicle developer that recently performed its first commercial launch, has raised an additional $140 million to fund expansion of its launch activities and research projects.

 

The company announced Nov. 15 that it closed a Series E funding round, led by existing investor Future Fund, an Australian sovereign wealth fund. Several other existing investors also joined the round, including Greenspring Associates, Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC (Data Collective), Promus Ventures and K1W1. One new investor, Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand, joined the round.

 

The Series E round comes after the company raised $75 million in a Series D round in March 2017. The company has now raised more than $288 million to date. Rocket Lab did not disclose the valuation of the latest round, but said it exceeded the “$1-billion-plus” valuation from its Series D round.

 

The announcement comes less than a week after the Nov. 10 launch of Rocket Lab’s “It’s Business Time” mission, the first commercial flight of the company’s Electron rocket after two test flights. The company is preparing for its next Electron mission in December, for NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services program, as it seeks to ramp up its flight rate in 2019 and beyond.

 

“It has been a big year for Rocket Lab with two successful missions to orbit and another about to roll out to the pad, but it’s even more significant for the global small satellite industry that now has a fully commercial, dedicated ride to space,” said Rocket Lab Chief Executive Peter Beck in a statement. “This funding also enables the continued aggressive scale-up of Electron production to support our targeted weekly flight rate. It will also see us build additional launch pads and begin work on three major new R&D programs.”

more at the link...

https://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-raises-an-additional-140-million/

 

These guys are positioning themselves for a good foothold on small sat launches...before others get on board.

 

Expensive and risky...but that's what it takes to get in and take hold...wish them luck...I like this spunk.

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Beittil    505

Man, so much capital and hardware going around there... The other small sat launching startups are light-years behind these guys... Dang

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Unobscured Vision    2,534

Well RL are actually launching, so ... 

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