Rocket Lab postponed the first launch attempt of its Electon booster on Monday due to high winds. company officials said.
The delay occurred on the first day of a planned 10-day launch window at the company’s base on Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The company plans to try again as early as Tuesday if conditions are acceptable.
The first Electron carries an inert payload. Rocket Lab plans three flight tests of the booster with inert payloads before launch satellites.
Electron is designed to place payloads weighing up to 150 kg (330 lb) into a 500 km (311 mile) sun-synchronous orbit.
SEATTLE, May 17, 2017 (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight, the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced the purchase of a Rocket Lab Electron rocket to increase the frequency of its dedicated rideshare missions. The Electron is an ideal launch vehicle for dedicated and rideshare missions, especially those serving difficult-to-come-by launch destinations such as mid-inclination orbits for remote sensing satellites. In late 2015, Spaceflight began its dedicated rideshare launch service with the purchase of a SpaceX Falcon 9 and now expands the rocket partnership to Rocket Lab with the Electron.
CANTIL, Calif. (Vector PR) — Vector, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced the successful test launch of the P-19H engineering model of the Vector-R launch vehicle.
This flight test is the first of several upcoming launches which will enable Vector to evaluate critical technologies and functions of the operational family of Vector launch vehicles.
ANCHORAGE, Ala. (AAC PR) — Following participation in the 2017 Japan Space Symposium, Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) President and Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Campbell traveled to Hokkaido, Japan with a joint Japanese and American delegation to visit a proposed launch site in the coastal town of Taiki.
As part of the itinerary, the delegation toured the headquarters and manufacturing facility of Interstellar Technologies. Interstellar Technologies is a Japanese company developing a launch vehicle to support the nano and micro commercial satellite industry.
ATLANTA, April 7, 2017 (GO PR) – Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to announce the award of a Follow-On Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division (AFRL/RQH) for development and flight testing of the GOLauncher 1 (GO1).
Look out Virgin Galactic, Orbital ATK, Generation Orbit, Stratolaunch Systems and zero2infinity! The air launch business is about to get crowded.
China is developed an air-launched rocket to launch small satellites.
The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100kg payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency’s carrier rocket development.
Li said the rockets would be carried by large Y-20 strategic transport planes before launch and that the academy planned to eventually develop a larger rocket that could carry a 200kg payload.
WOODBINE, Ga., March 28, 2017 (Spaceport Camden PR) — The Camden County Board of Commissioners and County Administrator Steve Howard welcomed Vector to the future site of Spaceport Camden to conduct an initial set of ground operations on its full-scale Mechanical Engineering Unit (MEU) of the Vector-R rocket and the associated Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL). The visit was an opportunity to showcase the Vector-R launch system and concept of operations (CONOPS) to key members of the spaceport community, stimulate discussions regarding future launch operations and familiarize Vector personnel with Spaceport Camden.
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA has selected ten studies under the Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat Studies (PSDS3) program, to develop mission concepts using small satellites to investigate Venus, Earth’s moon, asteroids, Mars and the outer planets.
The company had been developing a small satellite launch vehicle before it suspended operations in September due to financial difficulties.
Virgin Galactic had launched litigation against Firefly co-founder Thomas Markusic, who had previously led Virgin’s effort to develop a competing launcher. Virgin claims that Markusic took intellectual property when he left the company in 2014.
Look out Stratolaunch, Generation Orbit and Virgin Galactic! It looks like you’re going to have some competition from China in the small satellite air launch market.
The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100 kg (220 lb) payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency’s carrier rocket development…..
Li said the rockets would be carried by large Y-20 strategic transport planes before being launched and that the academy planned to eventually develop a larger rocket that could carry a 200 kg payload.
“The jet will hold a rocket within its fuselage and release it at a certain altitude. The rocket will be ignited after it leaves the plane,” Li said.
GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — In just two years’ time, a team of NASA engineers accomplished what some thought impossible: the group created a smaller, more capable “brain” for smaller spacecraft.
Led by Project Manager and Chief Engineer Noosha Haghani, who works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the team leveraged years of knowledge gained during the development of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, or MMS, to design a significantly smaller electronics system.
Dubbed MUSTANG, short for the Modular Unified Space Technology Avionics for Next Generation missions, the technology acts as the mission’s brain and central nervous system, controlling every function needed to gather scientific data from a Small Explorer-type mission. This includes everything from spacecraft command and data handling to attitude control, power, and propulsion, to name just a few tasks. The team also developed a variation of the system — iMUSTANG — for instrument electronics and, like its sibling, it allows users to choose different capabilities depending on instrument needs.
TOKYO (KG PR) — Kanematsu Corporation (KG) is pleased to announce the intention to establish a business collaboration through strategic investment with Vector Space Systems (Vector) for micro launch vehicles and related services.
Vector will offer small launch vehicles dedicated to micro satellites and related services. Vector’s CEO Jim Cantrell was involved in the start-up of SpaceX, an influential company which provides heavy lift launch vehicles. Incidentally, Vector’s CTO John Garvey had developed nanosat launch vehicles at Garvey Space Corp. (GSC) for 15 years prior to joining the team.
ELCHE, Spain, January 9, 2017 (PLD Space PR) — The International Tech Company GMV, with an important presence in the global space sector, has decided to trust in the PLD Space project and will take part in the ownership of the young space company as shareholder. GMV will also develop key technology and will work together with PLD Space in the development of the ARION 1 and ARION 2 launchers, an activity that will enable both companies to grow and position themselves strategically in the small space-launchers market.
The corporative endorsement of GMV enables PLD Space to raise a total investment of 6.7 million euros; between private investment through 2 Spanish investment vehicles and institutional funding coming from the contribution of Spanish government (CDTI and ENISA), public administrations (SUMA Teruel, IVF) and the European Commission (SME Phase1).