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August 14-20, 2017 / Vol 36, No 33 / Hawai`i Island, USA

11 Aug 2017, 20:35 UTC
August 14-20, 2017 / Vol 36, No 33 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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New Global Wave of Small and Low-Cost Launchers Broaden Space Access Opportunities

Interstellar Technologies Inc of Japan, led by Takafumi Horie, is working to bring online its 10-meter tall, 1-ton rocket Momo with a launch cost of about US$440,000. Landspace Technology is a company in China founded by Zhang Changwu to allow civilian engagement in the global commercial launch market with its new rocket based on the proven 20-meter tall Long March 11. There is also a plan for sea-launch technology put forth by Tang Yagang of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation to use Long March vehicles to lift commercial payloads up to 500 kg to 500-km SSO (sun-synchronous orbit) from a converted 10,000-ton freighter positioned in open ocean at equatorial latitudes. Rocket Lab, a USA-based company led by New Zealander Peter Beck, is conducting test flights of its 17-m tall, 1.2-m diameter Electron Rocket with capacity of 150 kg to 500 km SSO and a price tag less than US$5M. Vector Space Systems led by Jim Cantrell in Arizona is on track towards commercial launches in 2018 with its Vector-R rocket lifting 45 kg to 800 km orbit. Virgin Orbit under the leadership of Dan Hart is pushing ...

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