Several companies are currently working on commercial space launches. One of them surpassed its competition as it recently managed to achieve a successful launch. The company in question, Rocket Lab, sent several small satellites into orbit.
Called ‘’It’s Business Time’’ the mission employed Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket in order to carry six small satellite two space. Among them, we can count the Spire Global (used for monitoring ships, aircraft and various weather systems), Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems (also used for the observation of weather systems) and the Fleet Space Technologies (telecommunications).
In a press release Peter Back, founder and chief executive of Rocket Lab, argues that a new age will start; in which access to space will become something common. The Electron launch vehicle is already a reliable launch gate for small satellites.
Joining massive companies like Space X, Rocket Lab plans to begin high-frequency launches in early 2019, as it has the means to rapidly manufacture new Electron vehicles and a specialized site were up 120 launches per year can be done. The list of future clients is rapidly expanding as the company is becoming popular.
Faster, Smarter, Better
The Electron system is designed to maximize performance, reliability and an affordable price. The main rocket uses nine Rutherford engines powered by kerosene while the second stage module uses a single Rutherford engine. What sets it apart is the fact that the company opted to use an innovative electric pump system that feeds the fuel to the rockets. Most parts are 3D- printed a move that also reduces the costs and potential manufacturing problems.
The company completed its first test launch in May 2018. While another successful launch took place in March 2018 the one that took place this week was deemed the first commercial achievement, with many more to come in the future. Rival companies are hard at work but Rocket Lab may capitalize on its success in order to gather a significant client portfolio before rival products become available.