Author Topic: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?  (Read 5295 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #20 on: 07/09/2017 05:39 PM »
How would Electron's launch capability vary from those launched from New Zealand, would it have better performance to certain classes of orbit?

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #21 on: 07/10/2017 07:00 PM »
How would Electron's launch capability vary from those launched from New Zealand, would it have better performance to certain classes of orbit?

A very *slight* performance boost to polar/SSO orbits. (Launch sites closer to the poles give slightly better performance when launching to polar orbits, just like near-equator sites get a boost when launching to eastern orbits)

But it seems like a poor investment unless RL really starts launching so many rockets that they need a 2nd launch site.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 07:01 PM by Lars-J »

Offline Star One

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #22 on: 07/10/2017 07:25 PM »
How would Electron's launch capability vary from those launched from New Zealand, would it have better performance to certain classes of orbit?

A very *slight* performance boost to polar/SSO orbits. (Launch sites closer to the poles give slightly better performance when launching to polar orbits, just like near-equator sites get a boost when launching to eastern orbits)

But it seems like a poor investment unless RL really starts launching so many rockets that they need a 2nd launch site.

That sounds a strange economic move to be even talking about this if it's not able to support two launch sites.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #23 on: 07/10/2017 07:41 PM »
Keep in mind weather. That might limit launch availability.

Offline TrevorMonty

Alot of satellites maybe coming out of UK and europe. Makes it cheaper for customer to be present at launch compared to NZ or US.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 07:58 PM by TrevorMonty »

Online Dao Angkan

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #25 on: 07/10/2017 11:22 PM »
RL's NZ site looks to be pretty minimal. A similar site in Scotland might not cost much, especially with UKSA grants.

The weather isn't that bad in Northern Scotland (as already mentioned, thanks to the Gulf Stream), and they're only planning 8 launches a year, so as long as they're flexible and plan to launch to weather forecasts then the weather shouldn't be a significant issue for that level of cadence.

As the UK already has a significant small-sat industry, I could certainly see regulatory and bureaucratic benefits to launching those from the UK.

The biggest benefit though, is probably political. UK government is prioritising the space industry with their new space bill, a big part of which is regulating space flight from the UK, with the expectation of the first spaceport operating by 2020. Most analysts say that isn't realistic, but if a serious player, like Lockheed Martin comes up with a realistic proposal, then the government is likely to free up funds to help with that (tens of millions rather than hundreds).

Without getting too political, the new UK government is pretty weak (numbers-wise), it will have to focus on non-controversial policies during it's term, of which I think this would be included in (cross-party support for it), as long as it doesn't cost much.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 11:31 PM by Dao Angkan »

Offline TrevorMonty

To justify development and permanent support staff I'd thought higher flight of 12-20 would be needed.
« Last Edit: 07/13/2017 12:34 AM by TrevorMonty »

Offline ringsider

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #27 on: 07/12/2017 04:11 PM »
Keep in mind weather. That might limit launch availability.

Looks like the weather is not terrible:-

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/regional-climates/ns

Offline CameronD

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #28 on: 07/13/2017 12:01 AM »
New Zealand weather.

E.g. reason to have another pad elsewhere.

'Nuthin wrong with New Zealand weather. If you don't like it, come back in 10 minutes..  ;D

(That's one of the advantages of launching from any small island in the middle of a large ocean nowhere near the Trades. The weather doesn't stay the same for very long)
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Online Dao Angkan

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Re: Lockheed Martin considering launching Electron from UK?
« Reply #29 on: 07/13/2017 07:37 PM »
Big cash boost for UK satellite sector

Quote
Dr Graham Turnock, the UK Space Agency's CEO, hopes the NSTF will see much more work retained on home soil. "It's soup to nuts, isn't it? You should be able to set up and run a space business in the UK and be able to go from conception to launch. And if we can offer that, it's going to make the UK a tremendously attractive place to do space."

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