Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle lifted-off from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula at 16:50 on 11 November NZDT (03:50 UTC). After first reaching orbit on Electron’s second stage, the Curie kick stage successfully separated and circularized 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.
It’s Business Time Launch – 11/11/2018
Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter 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,” says Beck.
“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. ” he says.
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 onto the next mission within a few weeks – the incredibly exciting ELaNa 19 mission for NASA in December.”
Companies: Rocket Lab