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December 10-16, 2018 / Vol 37, No 50 / Hawai`i Island, USA

7 Dec 2018, 20:46 UTC
December 10-16, 2018 / Vol 37, No 50 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Rocket Lab Electron Leads Growing Small Satellite Launcher Business

Rocket Lab prepares for its next orbital flight NET December 13 from Launch Complex-1 in the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. The payload will be NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites ELaNa XIX, 10 CubeSats From NASA Centers and Universities. The satellites will study subjects from the Van Allen Belt to space weather. This will be the first NASA Venture Class Launch Services mission. Though Rocket Lab plans to launch satellites twice per week, they are unsure whether reusing rockets is truly economical. Rocket Lab secures US$140M in funding for a valuation of US$1 Billion, a “Space Unicorn” company. Texas-based Firefly Aerospace, one of nine companies chosen for NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services, is building the 102-foot Firefly Beta (R) to carry 4,000 kg to LEO. Firefly is opening a research and development center in Ukraine to utilize Ukrainian rocket experience. Launcher, a Brooklyn-based startup company, on Dec 4 hires a chief designer with 30 years’ experience from Ukraine. Launcher hopes to leverage Ukrainian work with oxygen-rich staged combustion. Virgin Orbit has completed carry tests of its Launcher One aboard a 747. Vector (TL) a microsatellite launch provider founded by veterans of ...

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