View Full Version : Rocket Lab’s Modest Launch Is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business

11-11-2018, 08:55 AM
Welcome to the club, Folks!

Rocket Lab’s Electron launched from a site in New Zealand on Sunday, local time. The rocket carried seven payloads, all small satellites.
Credit: Rocket Lab

The company’s Electron rocket carried a batch of small commercial satellites from a launchpad in New Zealand, a harbinger of a major transformation to the space business.

A small rocket from a little-known company lifted off Sunday from the east coast of New Zealand, carrying a clutch of tiny satellites. That modest event — the first commercial launch by a U.S.-New Zealand company known as Rocket Lab — could mark the beginning of a new era in the space business, where countless small rockets pop off from spaceports around the world. This miniaturization of rockets and spacecraft places outer space within reach of a broader swath of the economy.

The rocket, called the Electron, is a mere sliver compared to the giant rockets that Elon Musk, of SpaceX, and Jeffrey P. Bezos, of Blue Origin, envisage using to send people into the solar system. It is just 56 feet tall and can carry only 500 pounds into space.

But Rocket Lab is aiming for markets closer to home.

“We’re FedEx,” said Peter Beck, the New Zealand-born founder and chief executive of Rocket Lab. “We’re a little man that delivers a parcel to your door.”

Behind Rocket Lab, a host of start-up companies are also jockeying to provide transportation to space for a growing number of small satellites. The payloads include constellations of telecommunications satellites that would provide the world with ubiquitous internet access.
The payload of this mission, which Rocket Lab whimsically named “It’s Business Time,” offered a glimpse of this future: two ship-tracking satellites for Spire Global; a small climate- and environment-monitoring satellite for GeoOptics; a small probe built by high school students in Irvine, Calif., and a demonstration version of a drag sail that would pull defunct satellites out of orbit.



Rocket Lab’s Modest Launch Is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business (LINK) (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/science/rocket-lab-launch.html)

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11-11-2018, 09:09 AM
Love this!!!! Congratulations to them.