US Space Startup Rocket Lab Relocates Its First Commercial Rocket Launch. The company attempted to make that flight off the ground twice this year, but strange behavior on the Rocket Lab launch vehicle forced the company to pull away from both launch attempts. Now changes have been made to the rocket to avoid this problem, and the company says it is ready to try again later in November.
In fact, the company hopes to have two back-to-back missions just weeks before the end of 2018. The first commercial flight, called It's Business Time, will be followed by a NASA flight in December. The two missions will start from Rocket Lab's private launch pad in New Zealand, Launch Complex 1
Rocket Labs The primary vehicle is the Electron, a 55 foot high rocket that can weigh payloads between 330 and 500 pounds to low Earth orbit. It's a small range compared to the capabilities of other major launch providers, such as SpaceX, that can transport tens of thousands of pounds into orbit. That's because Rocket Lab focuses exclusively on launching small satellites. Small spacecraft manufacturing has skyrocketed in the last decade, and Rocket Lab says it already has a whole host of customers eager to ride the Electron vehicle.
The company completed testing the electron in January after the vehicle successfully completed orbit and deployed four satellites. Now Rocket Lab is trying to move to full-time commercial operations, but the company has had some problems nailing the launch of It's Business Time. Rocket Lab wanted to complete the mission first in late April, but it delayed the flight after the engineers discovered that some of the electron's engines were weird. The company then postponed the flight for June, but after a few delays, the team withheld the strange behavior with the engines.
Rocket Lab says it has since analyzed the engines and made changes to their design's behavior. The engines also went through a new kind of qualifying test before being launched in November.
When it's business launches it will put five small satellites into orbit. Two of them will come from the manufacturer Spire Global, which makes probes for tracking ships, planes and weather. The flight will also include a satellite designed to test a new type of space sail that could be used by future manufacturers to slow down spacecraft probes and bring satellites out of orbit more quickly.
Immediately after the flight's flight, Rocket Lab plans to quickly launch its planned launch for NASA. The mission, known as the 19th Nano-Satellite Launch, or ELaNa-XIX, will carry 10 standardized satellites, known as CubeSats, which will carry out various types of space exploration. The small probes will do their utmost to observe the space weather – when particles of the Sun mingle with the particles surrounding the Earth – and to measure the radiation environment around our planet.