In the next two weeks the American aerospace startup Rocket Lab will try to do something not done before: a commercial rocket launch Electron. This will be the third flight for the Electron and the first of those, which the company plans to launch monthly until the end of the year. Friday’s launch was canceled due to problems with the dish tracking. But today, and tomorrow, and every day over the next 14 days, the company will attempt to launch his ship in a 4-hour window beginning from 8: 30 PM ET time.
Rocket Electron is too small for missiles. Its height is four times smaller than the height of the Falcon 9 — 55 feet versus 230. But the Electron can afford to be a crumb, because it was built to accommodate small valuable goods no more than 300 kilograms to low earth orbit. Launches will also be inexpensive: only 4.9 million dollars.
The thing is that Rocket Lab plans quickly and frequently withdraw small satellites into orbit. In the end, the industry small satellites is gaining momentum: the company sent a dozen satellites at a time on a single rocket.
In may 2017 Rocket Lab launched a rocket Electron in space for the first time, but the transport is not on the orbit. The culprit was a failure of communication on earth. Due to bad weather delayed the second test flight of the company, which is called simply: “still testing” (Still Testing). But in January 2018, the rocket went into orbit and left there, the cargo: three commercial satellite and questionable disco ball called the “Star of humanity”.
Friday began a 14-day cycle in which the missile will attempt to slip in a 4-hour window of start and to leave the starting area on the new Zealand Peninsula Mahia. The rocket will carry four satellites and testing the probe, equipped with a sail, designed for removing broken satellites from orbit.