The fast-growing provider of Starts Rocket Lab brings its second orbital payload of the year to the grid in New Zealand late at night this evening. It will bring three experimental satellites into low earth orbit and you can see it live.
The launch is Rocket Lab's fifth orbital mission and although it intentionally launches with a cadence of weeks, it will be the case. It takes some time before that's possible – now they can do it every few minutes months. However, with new funding of $ 140 million, this should change quickly.
The payloads rising today / tomorrow are:
- SPARC-1 : The Space Plug & Play Architectural Research Center CubeSat is a research laboratory of the Air Force For years they have been working with the Swedes. It is a new design for a 6U vehicle with a reconfigurable orbital transceiver that "supports live experimentation with various waveforms and protocols useful for communication missions." Also, a camera to review the scene up there ,
- Falcon ODE : This orbital debris experiment will release two stainless steel ball bearings on known trajectories in space that can be used to calibrate ground-based trash detection systems.
- Harbinger : An eerie sounding small satellite and the heaviest single micro- So far, it has been lifted by Rocket Lab's electronic carrier vehicle. This unit, also from the Luftwaffe, uses a synthetic aperture radar to observe the earth regardless of lighting or cloud cover. It is a demonstrator of fast production techniques and standardized parts that should accelerate the use of new spacecraft.
The total content includes 180 kilograms or nearly 400 pounds, the heaviest charge Electron
takeoff is set in New Zealand at 18 o'clock local time, which equates to 11 o'clock Pacific time here in the US. If the weather hampers the opportunity, do not worry – this start window will stay open two weeks. You can check it out on the Rocket Lab website a few minutes before 11am.