Flight launch Rocket Lab will try again this weekend to launch its first commercial mission to space, a flight the…
Flight launch Rocket Lab will try again this weekend to launch its first commercial mission to space, a flight the company has called “It’s Business Time.” The small satellite burner aims to send up seven small probes in low terrain on its electron beam. If that succeeds, the flight will officially kick off commercial activities for the company, which so far has only pulled two test flights.
Rocket Lab, however, has difficulty getting “It’s Business Time” in the air. The company, starting from a private place in New Zealand, has tried several times to fly this mission, but has to stand down after noticing any strange behavior on one of the rocket engine controllers. After making some design changes, Rocket Lab is ready to try again. The company has a launch window that extends from November 1
0 to November 19, and it is possible to start every day between 10:00 ET and 2:00 ET.
To go on this flight are a handful of small satellites from Spire Global, Tyvakanosystem, Fleet Space Technologies and Irvine CubeSat STEM, and some of these Probes are about the size of a shoe box. This is because Rocket Lab’s primary goals only launch small satellites. The company’s vehicle, Electron, stands at about 56 meters high and can place between 330 and almost 500 pounds in low lanes across the ground. It is perfect for satellite operators that focus on making their spacecraft less than the size of a school bus.
Until now, Rocket Lab has only ever reached a game. It conducted two test flights before this mission, both of which made it into space. But the first mission failed to achieve orbit due to a glitch of communication equipment on the ground. The other made it into circulation, and utilized four satellites successful. If this mission goes well, Rocket Lab can boast that it has put 11 probes in circulation.
And as soon as this flight is over, Rocket Lab has another one coming straight up. The company aims to launch a mission for NASA in December called ELaNa XIX, one that will launch 11 small research satellites in orbit. The company has also claimed it has a packed manifesto, and Rocket Lab’s CEO Peter Beck has said that the goal is to perform 16 flights next year.
But first, Business Time must finally fly. Rocket Lab plans to streamline launch once in a lifetime liftoff. Follow the company’s twitter for updates about the assignment and check back here to see the live assignment.