Author Topic: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher  (Read 209468 times)

Online TrevorMonty

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #40 on: 08/01/2014 12:44 AM »
Generation Orbit Launch Services is another up an coming small sat launcher. At 50kg it is lighter again.

http://www.generationorbit.com/golauncher2.html

Offline fregate

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #41 on: 08/01/2014 06:53 AM »
It might be a tipping point for Australia to set up Commonwealth Space Agency and space program after all. C'mon Kiwi, c'mon!
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Offline DJPledger

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #42 on: 08/01/2014 07:11 AM »
Interesting photo on the scale of the Rutherford engine from Rocket Lab press photo on Doug Messier's Parabolic web site. That is Peter Beck founder & CEO of Rocket Lab standing next to the Electron core, reminisce of Elon Musk next to his Falcon 1 photo.
I'm wondering, is Rutherford stage combustion engine? I don't see any turbine exhaust nozzle on that picture.
Rutherford may have a H2O2 powered gas generator to power it's turbopump. If you look closely at the photo of a test firing of Rutherford on Rocket Lab's website you can see what looks like a cloud of steam in the top of the test stand. This steam could well be from the decomposition of H2O2 driving the pump.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #43 on: 08/01/2014 08:17 AM »
It might be a tipping point for Australia to set up Commonwealth Space Agency and space program after all. C'mon Kiwi, c'mon!
Robert Meurer from this space show mention that a few countries have created space agencies in last year. NZ needs to catch up especially as we will soon have a LV capable of putting a man space, even if it is a one way trip.

We are definitely at beginning of a new space age, 45 years after moon landing things are finally start to happen.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #44 on: 08/01/2014 09:15 AM »
Interesting photo on the scale of the Rutherford engine from Rocket Lab press photo on Doug Messier's Parabolic web site. link That is Peter Beck founder & CEO of Rocket Lab standing next to the Electron core, reminisce of Elon Musk next to his Falcon 1 photo.

Question. If the Electron core is 1 m diameter, can anyone estimate the nozzle diameter of the Rutherford engine? I think it about 18 cm from looking at the photo.
No downcomers, no hold downs, no connectors. It just seems like an engineering article. There's something that just seems too plain. Actual flight hardware has access doors, connectors for fluids, electricity and communications, mechanical hold downs, a couple of tubes for data  wires and pressurization gases, etc.
It is a composite structure. Maybe all the connections are on the side away from the camera view. After all this is a publicity photo. It could also be a mock-up.

Surely you're not suggesting that the hold-downs are only on one side.

Offline Proponent

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #45 on: 08/01/2014 11:15 AM »
Doubt the Rutherford is a stage combustion engine, don't think there is space above the combustion chambers for SC plumbing for 9 engines.

On top of that, the thrust density is pretty low -- about 411 kN/m2 at sea level, based on a nozzle exit diameter of 0.2 m as eyeballed from the photo above (and consistent with the quoted difference in sea-level and maximum, presumably vacuum, thrusts).  That suggests a relatively low chamber pressure, which in turn lies outside the regime in which staged combustion really shines.

Offline Proponent

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #46 on: 08/01/2014 11:26 AM »
Looks like the chamber is DMLS-made....

Pardon my ignorance, but what is DMLS?

EDIT:  Corrected quote.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2014 06:24 PM by Proponent »

Offline Proponent

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #47 on: 08/01/2014 11:37 AM »
So we have three recently-proposed launch vehicles, Falcon 9, Firefly and Electron, each of which has a single lox-hydrocarbon engine on the second stage and a large cluster of sea-level versions of the same engine on the first stage.  It seems to be the new paradigm.  Though you could argue it goes all the way back to the Saturn B designs circa 1960 -- eight H-1s for the first stage and a small cluster of vacuum-optimised H-1s for the second stage.

Of course, Electron differs in having a third stage.  Do we know anything about it?  Might it be solid?

Offline zt

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #48 on: 08/01/2014 12:54 PM »
Looks like the chamber is DMLS-made space age, 45 years after moon landing things are finally start to happen.

Pardon my ignorance, but what is DMLS?

I think it's Direct Metal Laser Sintering, a technique for 3D printing out of metal.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #49 on: 08/01/2014 02:41 PM »
So we have three recently-proposed launch vehicles, Falcon 9, Firefly and Electron, each of which has a single lox-hydrocarbon engine on the second stage and a large cluster of sea-level versions of the same engine on the first stage.  It seems to be the new paradigm.  Though you could argue it goes all the way back to the Saturn B designs circa 1960 -- eight H-1s for the first stage and a small cluster of vacuum-optimised H-1s for the second stage.

Of course, Electron differs in having a third stage.  Do we know anything about it?  Might it be solid?
The vehicle description states solid propellant 3rd stage. "Solid" could be bit misleading in this case if it uses VLM.see link.

http://www.rocketlabusa.com/about-us/propulsion/high-density-monopropellant/

http://www.google.com/patents/US20120234196


Online TrevorMonty

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #50 on: 08/01/2014 02:43 PM »
More info on their technology and history.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/01/rocket-labs-history/
« Last Edit: 08/01/2014 02:45 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline strangequark

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #51 on: 08/01/2014 05:59 PM »
Looks like the chamber is DMLS-made space age, 45 years after moon landing things are finally start to happen.

Pardon my ignorance, but what is DMLS?

As has been said, Direct Metal Laser Sintering. The surface finish is fairly characteristic. So, he's probably printing the chamber, including cooling passages, as a single piece. Possibly injector too? Though I worry about tolerances in that case. Also, I think you conflated my quote with someone else's. I didn't say that "45 years" bit.

Gravity's just a habit that you're pretty sure you can't break.

Offline Proponent

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #52 on: 08/01/2014 06:25 PM »
Thanks.  And sorry -- I've corrected my post.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #53 on: 08/01/2014 07:14 PM »
Interesting photo on the scale of the Rutherford engine from Rocket Lab press photo on Doug Messier's Parabolic web site. link That is Peter Beck founder & CEO of Rocket Lab standing next to the Electron core, reminisce of Elon Musk next to his Falcon 1 photo.

Question. If the Electron core is 1 m diameter, can anyone estimate the nozzle diameter of the Rutherford engine? I think it about 18 cm from looking at the photo.
No downcomers, no hold downs, no connectors. It just seems like an engineering article. There's something that just seems too plain. Actual flight hardware has access doors, connectors for fluids, electricity and communications, mechanical hold downs, a couple of tubes for data  wires and pressurization gases, etc.
It is a composite structure. Maybe all the connections are on the side away from the camera view. After all this is a publicity photo. It could also be a mock-up.

Surely you're not suggesting that the hold-downs are only on one side.

Didn't say anything about hold-downs, just connectors.  ::)

Offline WindnWar

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #54 on: 08/01/2014 07:55 PM »
More info on their technology and history.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/01/rocket-labs-history/

The info on the bottom is interesting but the video just comes across as silly. He's comparing multi-billion dollar launch vehicles capable of tremendous lift capability to a rocket that only lifts 110 kilo's. At $5 million that is not exactly cheap for multiple sat constellations. Makes more sense to do what Orbcomm just did or Iridium will do, plus neither of those small sats are small enough to fit on this rocket. This really only makes sense for the few things you would send up a single one and it needs to be in an orbit it can't reach as a secondary.

Interesting but I fear its just too small for the price. 


Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #55 on: 08/01/2014 08:20 PM »
More info on their technology and history.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/01/rocket-labs-history/

The info on the bottom is interesting but the video just comes across as silly. He's comparing multi-billion dollar launch vehicles capable of tremendous lift capability to a rocket that only lifts 110 kilo's. At $5 million that is not exactly cheap for multiple sat constellations. Makes more sense to do what Orbcomm just did or Iridium will do, plus neither of those small sats are small enough to fit on this rocket. This really only makes sense for the few things you would send up a single one and it needs to be in an orbit it can't reach as a secondary.

Interesting but I fear its just too small for the price.
My speculation. There might be some sort of a Heavy version of the Electron in the future. Perhaps even a 5 or 7 core super Heavy version.  ;D

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #56 on: 08/01/2014 08:48 PM »
More info on their technology and history.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/01/rocket-labs-history/

The info on the bottom is interesting but the video just comes across as silly. He's comparing multi-billion dollar launch vehicles capable of tremendous lift capability to a rocket that only lifts 110 kilo's. At $5 million that is not exactly cheap for multiple sat constellations. Makes more sense to do what Orbcomm just did or Iridium will do, plus neither of those small sats are small enough to fit on this rocket. This really only makes sense for the few things you would send up a single one and it needs to be in an orbit it can't reach as a secondary.

Interesting but I fear its just too small for the price.
My speculation. There might be some sort of a Heavy version of the Electron in the future. Perhaps even a 5 or 7 core super Heavy version.  ;D

Let's assume adding a core costs half the $5 million price of a single-core launch.  That 7-core super-heavy now costs $20 million -- to launch perhaps 500 kg of payload to LEO.  That's even less compelling than the single-core version.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2014 08:49 PM by ChrisWilson68 »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #57 on: 08/02/2014 12:00 AM »

Offline go4mars

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #58 on: 08/02/2014 03:32 AM »
My speculation. There might be some sort of a Heavy version of the Electron in the future. Perhaps even a 5 or 7 core super Heavy version.
I wondered the same.  The otrag unit of the teens?
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #59 on: 08/03/2014 04:55 AM »
Looks like the chamber is DMLS-made space age, 45 years after moon landing things are finally start to happen.

Pardon my ignorance, but what is DMLS?

I think it's Direct Metal Laser Sintering, a technique for 3D printing out of metal.

That is right.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_metal_laser_sintering

and this:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing#Spaceflight 

SpaceX is mentioned in both; but better/more in the second of the two.
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