Rocket Lab puts seven satellites into orbit

IT'S BUSINESS TIME: Rocket Lab’s first commercial load lifts off from the Mahia launch site on Sunday, a successful mission into orbit with six satellites for paying customers and a technology demonstrator to distribute into Earth orbit. Pictures supplied
This shot was taken back towards Earth with the satellites visible in the cargo hold before they were deployed.

Rocket Lab’s first Electron commercial rocket was successfully launched into orbit from Mahia Peninsula yesterday.

The rocket, dubbed ‘It’s Business Time’, took off from Mahia Peninsula at 4.50pm on Sunday.

“All payloads deployed!” tweeted Rocket Lab chief Peter Beck after the launch.

Seven payloads went to orbit the first day in Rocket Lab’s nine-day window for launch of the Electron.

The mission had a daily four-hour launch window starting at 4pm to get the rocket into orbit.

Rocket Lab was unsuccessful in launching the Electron earlier in the year, following an issue with its motor controller. It had a successful test launch in January.

After first reaching orbit on Electron’s second stage, the Curie kick stage successfully separated and circularised its orbit before deploying six satellites for customers Spire Global, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Fleet Space Technologies and the Irvine CubeSat Stem Program.

Curie also carried NABEO, a drag sail technology demonstrator, designed and built by High Performance Space Structure Systems GmbH, to passively de-orbit inactive small satellites and reduce space junk.

Mr Beck says the mission marks a new era in access to space.

“The world is waking up to the new normal. With the Electron launch vehicle, rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites”.

“We’re thrilled to be leading the small satellite launch industry by reaching orbit a second time and deploying more payloads. The team carried out a flawless flight with incredibly precise orbital insertion.”

Rocket Lab is poised for high-frequency launches in 2019, thanks to production facilities that enable rapid mass Electron production, as well as a private launch complex licensed to launch up to 120 times per year.

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

Rocket Lab’s first Electron commercial rocket was successfully launched into orbit from Mahia Peninsula yesterday.

The rocket, dubbed ‘It’s Business Time’, took off from Mahia Peninsula at 4.50pm on Sunday.

“All payloads deployed!” tweeted Rocket Lab chief Peter Beck after the launch.

Seven payloads went to orbit the first day in Rocket Lab’s nine-day window for launch of the Electron.

The mission had a daily four-hour launch window starting at 4pm to get the rocket into orbit.

Rocket Lab was unsuccessful in launching the Electron earlier in the year, following an issue with its motor controller. It had a successful test launch in January.

After first reaching orbit on Electron’s second stage, the Curie kick stage successfully separated and circularised its orbit before deploying six satellites for customers Spire Global, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Fleet Space Technologies and the Irvine CubeSat Stem Program.

Curie also carried NABEO, a drag sail technology demonstrator, designed and built by High Performance Space Structure Systems GmbH, to passively de-orbit inactive small satellites and reduce space junk.

Mr Beck says the mission marks a new era in access to space.

“The world is waking up to the new normal. With the Electron launch vehicle, rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites”.

“We’re thrilled to be leading the small satellite launch industry by reaching orbit a second time and deploying more payloads. The team carried out a flawless flight with incredibly precise orbital insertion.”

Rocket Lab is poised for high-frequency launches in 2019, thanks to production facilities that enable rapid mass Electron production, as well as a private launch complex licensed to launch up to 120 times per year.

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

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Peter Jones - 1 month ago
Unethical scumbags. You pay and they will launch any nasty little project you can come up with. All for the greater good of humanity, naturally enough. How did NZ get conned into doing this? Knowing us we probably asked for it. We have already lost our national sovereignty, except that no one has officially told us. Directed energy fires are probably next off the block. No one is saying anything about them either but they are still happening and if you want proof have a look at our military budget and follow the billions being paid to Lockheed Martin. Sovereignty? What sovereignty.

Greg, Pukeatua - 15 days ago
Have you got links to the military budget?

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