Upstart launch provider Rocket Lab aims to finally launch its first fully commercial payload to orbit this weekend after months of delays. The small Electron rocket will take six satellites from four companies to orbit as early as tomorrow evening Pacific time — Sunday afternoon at the company’s launch site in New Zealand.
“It’s Business Time,” as this launch is called, in honor of being the first to carry a full load of paying customers, was originally scheduled for this last spring, but small technical glitches have repeatedly delayed operations. Things are looking good for the 11th, though, and the window lasts until the 19th in case there’s inclement weather.
Today our team completed the dress rehearsal for It’s Business Time. How good does this LOX-filled Electron look on the pad at LC-1? Launch window opens 11 Nov NZDT. pic.twitter.com/KwuM0QFS2Q
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) November 6, 2018
The rocket will be carrying two satellites for Spire’s earth-monitoring constellation, two for Fleet’s space-based smart devices grid, one for GeoOptics, and one for the city of Irvine’s CubeSat STEM program.
This last item is of particular interest; the satellite was built by high school students from the Irvine area. Can’t say …read more