Автор Тангаж, 05.03.2015 17:53:41
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ЦитатаRocket Lab raised capital from Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and K1W1 to complete the Electron launch system and begin commercial operations as early as 2016 On March 2, 2015, Rocket Lab announced completion of Series B financing round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) with full participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures and K1W1 investment funds. In addition, Lockheed Martin committed to make a strategic investment in Rocket Lab to support the exploration of future aerospace technologies. The company will use the funding to complete the Electron launch system and plans to begin operations as a commercial launch provider as early as 2016.Electron small-class launch vehicle, capable of sending up to 110 kg of payload into a sun-synchronous orbit for near $5 million, was officially unveiled during a dedicated VIP-event in July 2014. First of two rocket stages will be powered by 9 regeneratively cooled LOx/Kerosene Rutherford engines, producing each 13.3 kN of thrust at lift-off. The engine is considered as one the most advanced in the world, and comprises a solid technological strength for the company.History of the company goes back to 2007, when Peter Beck established Rocket Lab as a center for advanced space programs in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2009 it successfully launched Ātea-1 (Māori for 'space') suborbital sounding rocket - 6 m long and 60 kg vehicle designed to carry a 2 kg payload to an altitude of 120 km. Since then this startup developed and launched more than 80 rockets and worked with customers including Lockheed Martin, DARPA and Aerojet Rocketdyne. In December 2010 Rocket Lab was awarded a US contract from the Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS) to study low-cost space launcher to place small satellites into orbit. As it is said in the company's statement, "Rocket Lab was founded on the belief that small payloads require dedicated small launch vehicles and the flexibility not currently offered by traditional rocket systems".Based on this idea of SmallSats launcher, Rocket Lab was awarded New Zealand's government $25 million grant, and raised undisclosed amount of money from Khosla Ventures and K1W1 venture capital companies in Series A investment round. By now the company says it received commitments from the customers for at least 30 first launches, which is, simply multiplying, amounted to near $150 million.Currently Rocket Lab is in process of development and tests of Electron's components, searching for a launch site (among other, Cape Canaveral is under evaluation) and, as a sequence, staff expanding. As for today, the company has near 50 employees, most of which based in Auckland office, and actively recruiting more engineers and managers (25 open positions at the website).Rocket Lab has audacious plans to conduct 100 launches per year and it seems like investors believe Peter Beck and his business model. According to newly released research of Euroconsult titled Prospects for the Small Satellite Market, a total of 510 SmallSats are to be launched in the next five years. The market value of these future SmallSats is estimated at $7.4 billion (at 2014 prices) to develop and launch all of them.SpaceDigest has even more promising forecast for SmallSat market. According to our 2014 Year in Spaceflight Review, a total number of CubeSats (not including satellites of 10-100 kg class), launched over the past three years, has risen from 23 in 2012 to 131 in 2014. As for 2015 and on, we expect launches of up to 200 CubeSats per year. Interesting to note that Peter Beck has no ambitions of larger launch vehicle, or human-rated spaceflights, he believes only in SmallSat market opportunities. What may prevent him from realization of plans? Two factors seem to be important to be considered. The first one is enormous competition from developers of traditional launch vehicles (Firefly Space Systems, Mishaal Aerospace, etc.), air-launched systems (Swiss Space Systems, Generetion Orbit, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, etc.), balloon-based systems (Zero2Infinity).Controversial as it may sound, the other factor is launch cost. Dividing $5 million launch price into 110 kg of payload, we get the ratio of $45,500 per kilogram. For example, Spaceflight Inc. charges $50k-$60k per kg for CubeSats and $35k-$40k per kg for small satellites to be launched as a secondary payload. What would you choose if you have a 100 kg satellite?Anyway, raising at least $100 million in total (by our estimations) from venture funds, governmental and private companies, Rocket Lab is becoming a space market player with serious ambitions that are supported not only by great idea and strong belief in SmallSats, but also by achieved technological level, qualified personnel and necessary capital. And as soon as it is so, Peter Beck and his team seem to be on the right track.
ЦитатаАнтон пишет: Что-то этих ракет для нано спутников в последнее время много развелось
ЦитатаNew Zealand firm Rocket Lab plans to launch its battery powered rockets fr om Birdlings Flat in Canterbury.The company has lodged resource consent applications to build a launch pad - about half the size of a tennis court - and hopes to launch a test vehicle late this year.The company's chief executive, Peter Beck said the area met all the firm's requirements; a sparse population, a launch path over the ocean and proximity to a city wh ere the 18m tall Electron Rockets can be built. And there have been rockets launched before from Birdlings Flat about 44km southeast of Christchurch.In 1963 an imported rocket was launched to a height of about 75km to conduct upper atmospheric research in a joint venture between Canterbury University's physics department and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.That spent about 2 1/2 minutes airborne and landed in the sea and the university continues to monitor space from the area.Beck said his firm was going through the process of complying with all environmental requirements and consulting affected parties before building what he said was a low impact operation.''We're not moving in with bulldozers and building Cape Canaveral out there,'' he said.Earlier this year it announced it would do away with expensive and complex gas generators and instead use small high-performance electric motors and lithium polymer batteries to drive its turbo pumps. The engine within the carbon fibre launch vehicle will also incorporate parts made by 3D printers to cut costs and speed up the manufacturing process.The Electron would launch satellites for about $7.3 million, less than a tenth of the cost of other companies.Beck said the firm was looking for suitable space in Christchurch to assemble the launch vehicles and this would provide jobs in the city. It had conducted a lengthy search throughout country looking for a suitable launch site.
ЦитатаТангаж пишет: Rocket Lab picks launch pad site http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11473933
ЦитатаRocket Lab plans for New Zealand launch base Posted on July 9, 2015 by Stephen Clark Artist's concept of Rocket Lab's Electron launcher. Credit: Rocket Lab The chief executive of Rocket Lab, a venture capital-backed space firm set up to provide dedicated launch services for microsatellites, says the company is on track to complete construction of a new orbital launch site on New Zealand's South Island by the end of 2015.The commercial launch base will be on Kaitorete Spit, an east-facing oceanfront site about 20 miles south of Christchurch, giving Rocket Lab's Electron booster access to orbits with inclinations ranging fr om 45 degrees to sun-synchronous, according to Peter Beck, the company's CEO.Rocket Lab plans to build a launch pad, rocket integration building, fuel tanks and support facilities at the uninhabited site.The remoteness of Kaitorete Spit -- it is near few busy shipping and air traffic corridors -- and the wide access to a variety of orbits were the location's biggest selling points, Beck said.Based in Los Angeles but with production and launch facilities in New Zealand, Rocket Lab is one of several companies targeting low-cost delivery of small satellites into orbit, giving modest operators a dedicated ride into space instead of putting their spacecraft on bigger rockets as secondary passengers, wh ere they are often left to the whims of large companies and government customers.Beck said the company plans a series of three test launches of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket beginning as soon as late 2015 and stretching into next year. Rocket Lab already has more than 30 customers signed up for Electron launches, Beck told Spaceflight Now in a July 1 interview, but he declined to name them.Artist's concept of Rocket Lab's Electron launch site at Kiatorete Spit, New Zealand. Credit: Rocket Lab Fueled by a mixture of liquid oxygen and kerosene, the two-stage Electron can put a 100 kilogram (220-pound) satellite into orbit 500 kilometers (310 miles) above Earth, according to Rocket Lab's website.Beck said the rocket is about 1 meter (3.3 feet) in diameter and stands 20 meters (66 feet) tall. The booster is built around the Rutherford engine, which is driven by electric motors instead of gas generators.With its major components fabricated in a 3D printer, the Rutherford engine will power both stages of the Electron. Nine Rutherford powerplants will be on the first stage, producing more than 140,000 pounds of thrust. One 5,000-pound thrust Rutherford engine will be on the second stage.Hardware for the first Electron test flight is in production and undergoing testing, according to Beck.Rocket Lab hopes to launch the rocket at $4.9 million per flight, with the ability to fly it once per week. According to Beck, the company elected to design an expendable rocket after deciding a reusable booster would be too expensive to refurbish.The Electron rocket is geared for the commercial market, but Beck said Rocket Lab planned to respond to a NASA request for proposals released in June soliciting bids to launch up to 60 kilograms -- 132 pounds -- of CubeSats in one or two launches by April 15, 2018.Rocket Lab is looking at other launch sites in the United States to meet U.S. launch demand, Beck said.Rocket Lab is backed by venture capital shops from Silicon Valley and New Zealand, including firms which led investment in Skybox Imaging, a growing Earth observation satellite company later acquired by Google.Lockheed Martin will also make a strategic investment in Rocket Lab, the company announced in March.
ЦитатаПетр Зайцев пишет: арантирую, что если они реально начнут строить, то от газохода на картинке они откажутся как только станет изветно, сколько стоят землеройные работы.
ЦитатаАлександр Ч. пишет: ЦитатаBob Richards @Bob_Richards 18 ч.18 часов назад Cool pic of the @rocketlabusa Electron 2nd stage with #3Dprinted rocket engine. @MoonEx @glxp
ЦитатаBob Richards @Bob_Richards 18 ч.18 часов назад Cool pic of the @rocketlabusa Electron 2nd stage with #3Dprinted rocket engine. @MoonEx @glxp
ЦитатаRocket Lab plans Electron test launches this year by Jeff Foust -- April 14, 2016 Rocket Lab performs a test firing of the second stage of its Electron rocket as it prepares to begin test flights later this year. Credit: Rocket Lab COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The successful qualification of the second stage of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket keeps the small launch vehicle on track to carry out a series of test flights later this year, the company announced April 13.Rocket Lab said it had completed qualification testing of the second stage, powered by the company's Rutherford engine, clearing it for flight. The company will soon begin qualification tests of the vehicle's first stage, which uses nine Rutherford engines.In an interview during the 32nd Space Symposium here April 13, Rocket Lab Chief Executive Peter Beck said the company remains on schedule to begin test flights of Electron from the company's launch site on New Zealand's North Island starting around the middle of this year."We have a minimum campaign of three test flights," he said. "We'll do the test flights and, if we have some anomalies, we'll keep rolling them out." Those test flights will carry instrumentation but no satellite payloads, he said.The company is completing construction of its launch site, which Beck said should be ready by the end of May. Rocket Lab had announced last year it planned to develop a launch site on New Zealand's South Island, near the city of Christchurch. However, Beck said difficulty in getting environmental approvals led them to shift their plans to the new location.The new site, located on the remote Mahia Peninsula, does allow Rocket Lab to launch to a wider range of orbits than it could from its original site. "We get from sun-synchronous orbit to 38 degrees inclination out of that site," he said. That is important, he said, since the company is hearing from potential customers who want to go to a variety of orbits."Traditionally the smallsat guys would want to go to sun-synchronous because there's a lot of rides there if you're ridesharing," he said. "But when you given them the opportunity to choose their orbital plane, they want to go to all sorts of planes, which is very interesting."The new launch site has received its local environmental approvals, Beck said. Rocket Lab, with its headquarters in the United States but with most of its staff in New Zealand, is working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for a spaceport license for the site, as well as a commercial launch license for Electron. Both U.S. and New Zealand authorities are working together on issues like clearing airspace for launches, he added.If the Electron test program is successful, Rocket Lab plans to start commercial launches in early 2017. Beck said the company is planning one launch a month through 2018, with most of those launches already sold. That includes a launch NASA awarded to Rocket Lab in October 2015 under its Venture Class Launch Services program, which Beck said is currently scheduled for July 2017."We really have to make that schedule, because we have a lot of customers now that we need to fly," he said. "So we can't have that test program roll out too long."Beck also hinted that Rocket Lab has plans to expand in the U.S. The company currently has more than 100 employees, primarily in New Zealand, and is hiring about two people a week, but is running into growth issues. "There are challenges with not being able to scale fast enough in New Zealand," he said. "We need to be able to scale much faster.""Growth in the U.S. is a big focus for us," he said, adding that the company planned announcements in the next several weeks about some related initiatives in the United States.