Author Topic: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher  (Read 289135 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1080 on: 08/08/2017 07:50 PM »
Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
For those interested in mission patches, the one for Rocket Lab's 2nd launch, called "Still Testing." #smallsat

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/894977589172764676

Offline SLC

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1081 on: 08/09/2017 08:47 PM »
Rocket Lab have published the findings of their investigation into the failure of the first launch:

https://www.rocketlabusa.com/latest/rocket-lab-completes-post-flight-analysis/

"Rocket Lab’s investigation team determined the launch, named ‘It’s a Test’, was terminated due to a data loss time out, which was caused by misconfiguration of telemetry equipment owned and operated by a third-party contractor who was supporting the launch from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1."

So, on the bad side, a really annoying reason for a failure; but on the good side, the rocket itself seemed to be performing perfectly. 
« Last Edit: 08/09/2017 08:56 PM by SLC »

Online QuantumG

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1082 on: 08/10/2017 02:22 AM »
the rocket itself seemed to be performing perfectly.

Well, nothing that can't be fixed in software.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

Offline SLC

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1083 on: 08/13/2017 09:35 PM »
Spaceflight Now article on return to flight, including an interview with Peter Beck and an explanation for that puzzling roll:

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/08/13/rocket-lab-finishes-test-flight-inquiry-plans-second-launch-later-this-year/

... and the first reader comment identifies the "unnamed contractor" who misconfigured the ground equipment on the first flight.

Offline ringsider

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1084 on: 08/13/2017 09:58 PM »
... and the first reader comment identifies the "unnamed contractor" who misconfigured the ground equipment on the first flight.

Which he copied directly from my comment above, word for word.


I wonder if it was these guys RL threw under the bus?

Rocket Lab USA 2017 Contract Update   

The Range Safety Telemetry System has been shipped to New Zealand with non-state funds.

Unfortunately, for Rocket Lab they did not have any launches in 2016 so it pushed all the launches to 2017.  The 2017 contract is to do what we would have done in 2016, to support them with the RSTS.  Eventually they will operate from Mahia by themselves.   

KING said AAC has four people on site, getting antennas set up and ready to support the launch vehicle by March 4.   

CAMPBELL confirmed Rocket Lab has selected Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska as their U.S. polar launch site.  He is currently negotiating a contract for launches starting in 2018. 
 
http://akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/minutes/2017%2002%2023%20Board%20of%20Directors%20Minutes.pdf

« Last Edit: 08/13/2017 10:03 PM by ringsider »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1085 on: 08/14/2017 07:53 AM »
But... But... I thought only Elon Musk 'lied' about launch dates.  ;D
AFAIK No one's called Musk a liar about launch dates.

Just very very optimistic on outcomes of events leading to them (like the science that needs to get done first).  :(

More relevant to this thread is that Beck does not have $100m in his bank account to run the project to begin with.

[EDIT. Read the Spaceflight now article. Looks like they've covered all the major flight stages except payload separation. Difficult to do without a payload to separate.  :)
New engine cycles for rocket engines are very rare so to get this system running without a hitch on both the booster and upper stages is a huge achievement. Every launch is a first time for ELV's but the prospects look good for the next one. ]
« Last Edit: 08/14/2017 09:01 AM by john smith 19 »
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Zingpc

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1086 on: 08/16/2017 06:26 AM »
I hate to be negative - but unless they've already got something planned and 'up their sleeves', I've heard of no live broadcast of the first launch attempt.

When STS-1 launched on April 12th, 1981: pretty much every country in the civilized world had live coverage of the launch - except New Zealand.

I can give testimony that I stayed up to probably 3am for the first shuttle television coverage in 1981, Hamilton New Zealand. It might have been an abort, I cannot remember that detail.

Offline Zingpc

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1087 on: 08/16/2017 06:34 AM »
Throwing under the bus is not what I'd call pointing out the cause of the telemetry loss and then not naming them.

Online savuporo

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Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Zingpc

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1089 on: 08/16/2017 07:14 AM »
Call SpaceX. They did a jpeg fix up and got good results. They asked on the Internet for help.

Offline HVM

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1090 on: 08/16/2017 08:40 AM »
...They asked on the Internet for help.

Yes, that project was run on some nerdy-rocket-forum, such geeks there!
« Last Edit: 08/16/2017 08:41 AM by HVM »

Offline ringsider

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1091 on: 08/23/2017 05:13 PM »
This was an interesting comment from Beck:-

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/894976829743800320

Is Rocket Lab already seeing signs of weaker demand from the big constellations? If so then the "100's of flights" business model of Vector looks very fragile and the decision of the revamped Firefly Aerospace to go for 1,000kg payload is probably quite smart.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2017 05:14 PM by ringsider »

Online vaporcobra

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1092 on: 08/30/2017 05:50 AM »
Great video of a static fire of the second core. A reply from their Twitter suggests a NET of mid-October, T-6 weeks.
https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/902713171407806464

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1093 on: 08/31/2017 07:04 AM »

Offline ringsider

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1094 on: Today at 06:56 PM »
RL applied for and were granted 3 flight termination-related waivers:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2017-06-30/pdf/2017-13567.pdf

SUMMARY

This notice concerns three
petitions for waiver submitted to the
FAA by Rocket Lab USA Inc. (RL) for
the Flight Termination Receiver (FTR)
Qualification by Similarity (QBS): A
petition to waive the requirement that a
component may be qualified based on
similarity to a component that has
already been qualified for use only if the
environments encountered by the
previously qualified component during
its qualification or flight history were
equal or more severe than the Rocket
Lab qualification environments; a
petition to waive the Electromagnetic
Interference and Compatibility (EMI/
EMC) on the same units; and a petition
to waive the requirement that the same
manufacturer must produce the
qualified and the unqualified
component in the same location using
identical tools and manufacturing
processes. The FAA grants these three
petitions.
DATES
Issued in Washington, DC, on
May 15, 2017.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
Background
RL submitted a petition to the FAA’s
Office of Commercial Space
Transportation (AST) requesting relief
from regulatory requirements for a
launch license for flight of Electron test
flight missions from Mahia, New
Zealand. Specifically, RL requested
relief from 14 CFR E417.7(f)(2) and (5),
Qualification Testing and Analysis by
Similarity for the Flight Termination
Receiver. For Qualification, the Flight
Termination Receiver is required to
meet Table E417.19–2, which states
with note (5): ‘‘The same three sample
components must undergo each test
designated with an X. For a test
designated with a quantity of less than
three, each sample component tested
must be one of the original three sample
components.’’ For Qualification Testing
and Analysis by Similarity, Part 417
Appendix E section 417.7(f) provides
the requirements a launch operator must
satisfy in order to qualify or re-qualify
a flight termination system component’s
design through qualification by
similarity to tests performed on
identical or similar hardware. Section
E417.7(f)(2) states that to qualify
component ‘‘A’’ based on similarity to
component ‘‘B’’, that has already been
qualified for use, a launch operator must
demonstrate that the environment
encountered by ‘‘B’’ must have been
equal to or more severe than the
qualification environments required for
‘‘A’’. Specifically, RL used different
components for the random vibration
qualification test and the EMI/EMC
qualification test instead of the original
three qualification sample components
used for the other tests under
E417.7(f)(2). Section E417.7(f)(5)
requires that the same manufacturer
produce ‘‘A’’ and ‘‘B’’ in the same
location using identical tools and
manufacturing processes. Specifically,
RL’s sample ‘‘A’’ and ‘‘B’’ were
manufactured at different locations with
different manufacturing processes.
The FAA licenses the launch of a
launch vehicle and reentry of a reentry
vehicle under authority granted to the
Secretary of Transportation in the
Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984,
as amended and re-codified by 51 U.S.C.
Subtitle V, chapter 509 (Chapter 509),
and delegated to the FAA Administrator
and the Associate Administrator for
Commercial Space Transportation, who
exercises licensing authority under
Chapter 509.
RL is a private commercial space
flight company. RL seeks to lower the
cost and increase the frequency of
access to space for small payloads,
potentially expanding the opportunity
for space services and research. RL’s
petition for waiver addresses all
upcoming Electron test flights that RL
plans to launch from the Mahia
Peninsula, New Zealand. The Electron
launch is the first planned test flight
from the privately-owned Rocket Lab
Launch Complex at Mahia Peninsula in
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The launch
location is capable of hosting launches
to the northeast, east, and south. The
area within 20 NM surrounding the
launch site is extremely remote, and has
a low population density. The launch
flight corridor will have minimal impact
on air and marine traffic.


Etc.

Online savuporo

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1095 on: Today at 07:15 PM »
Looks pretty standard and reasonable. Also, the FTS ended up working well. Too well ..
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Offline ringsider

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1096 on: Today at 07:19 PM »
I'm doing a Sunday PM Google. Bunch of new stuff showing up for RL.

Here's another interesting doc:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2017-095%20-%20Rocket%20Lab%20USA%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%202017-05-15.pdf

The FAA license only permits 3 launches with INERT payloads. So that means no actual payloads this year.

Online QuantumG

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1097 on: Today at 09:16 PM »
I guess that's the holdup on the next launch... paperwork.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

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