Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket as seen before being raised to vertical. The vehicle’s maiden flight will occur sometime in late-May 2017 from New Zealand. Spaceflight Industries has purchased a dedicated rocket for its rideshare program. Photo Credit: Rocket Lab
While Rocket Lab is gearing up to perform the maiden launch of its Electron rocket, SpaceFlight Industries announced it purchased a flight on a future Electron to increase the number of its dedicated ride-share missions.
Spaceflight is purchasing rockets and then selling the space onboard via a rideshare program. The company said the Electron is an ideal launch vehicle, especially for those looking for difficult-to-come-by destinations such as mid-inclination orbits for remote sensing satellites.
“There are numerous rideshare launches each year to Sun Synchronous Orbit, but getting to 45 to 60 degrees is hard to find, and can cost the equivalent of buying an entire rocket,” said Curt Blake, President of Spaceflight’s launch business, in a press release. “We are thrilled to be working with Rocket Lab to enable our customers’ remote sensing missions that require high revisit time over North America, Europe, and the Middle East.”
According to Spaceflight, dedicated rideshare for smallsats is a new launch alternative that blends ...