Dozens of sub-orbital flights have been made, and orbital deployment is the next test. If all goes well, Vector hopes to be making its first real flights in 2017.
EDIT: according to TechCrunch, first flights in 2017http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/26/vector-space-systems-aims-to-launch-satellites-by-the-hundreds/QuoteDozens of sub-orbital flights have been made, and orbital deployment is the next test. If all goes well, Vector hopes to be making its first real flights in 2017.
Technically, it's another pressure-fed launcher, but this time there appear to different engine designs for the first and second stages (would think that doesn't help keep costs down). The single thing I find most intriguing is that the fuel is to be an "advanced hydrocarbon." Hopefully, then, we'll get something more interesting than RP-1 or methane. The first the the term "advanced" suggests to me is something synthetic and exotic, like syntin or quadricyclane.
In late 2015, he called John Garvey, whose company Garvey Spacecraft Corporation had been working on such a rocket, and together they decided to found a new company called Vector. The company is developing a rocket with a reusable first stage that can deliver up to 25kg to a 400km Sun-synchronous orbit. Because of the groundwork already done by Garvey, Cantrell said Vector could begin orbital flights in 2018.
I'm not sure exactly how this related to Garvey Space, but it's clearly not just that Garvey himself is involved. Their launcher design is effectively identical to Garvey Space's, they seem to be using the same engine Garvey had developed, and they even use images of Garvey Space vehicles as their page backgrounds.
Founders:Jim Cantrell, CEO - Jim is a well-known space entrepreneur, expert in small spacecraft systems and was on the founding team of SpaceX with Elon Musk, serving as SpaceX's first VP of Business Development. Jim has 30 years experience in commercial space efforts including StratSpace, Skybox Imaging, and the privately developed Lightsail. Early in his career, Jim worked for the French Space Agency CNES in Toulouse, NASA/JPL and has helped grow more than 20 space start-ups to profitability and acquisition through StratSpace where he was the Founder and CEO. Jim has been involved in the corporate development or financing of Silicon Valley's most notable space startups including Skybox, Planet Lab, Rocket Lab, World View, PlanetIQ and Orbital Insight.John Garvey, CTO - John is a 30 year space veteran who was also deeply involved with the founding team of SpaceX. John developed launch vehicles and launch operations for the McDonnell Douglas Delta III and Delta IV, the DCX-A single stage to orbit vehicle, Sea Launch and Micro launch vehicles for Garvey Spacecraft Corporation. John has extensive experience in the development of propulsion systems and launch vehicles and has worked with AFRL, DARPA, NASA and numerous commercial space enterprises such as COSMOS-1 the world's first solar sail.Ken Sunshine, CFO - Ken is senior executive with extensive expertise in strategic planning, financial analysis, raising capital, operations and project management for technology companies, and has served as the CFO of Virgin Galactic and Moon Express as well as SVP Finance of Orbital Sciences. Ken has extensive capital markets experience including IPOs, private placements, asset-backed debt, M&A and joint ventures.Eric Besnard, VP Engineering - Dr. Eric Besnard is a well-known expert in aerospace system design, rocket and spacecraft propulsion, and launch vehicles. He has been involved in liquid propulsion research and launch vehicle technology development funded by NASA, the Air Force, MDA and others. These include the development of innovative launch vehicles and upwards of 30 flight tests, such as the first known aerospike and LOX/methane rocket engine flight tests. He also has extensive expertise in CubeSat, Nanosat and Microsat propulsion technology development. Dr. Besnard is Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and served as Chair of its Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee (LPTC). He has authored numerous scientific papers on launch vehicle and spacecraft propulsion technologies
DESIGN, MANUFACTURING AND TEST OF A PLUG NOZZLE ROCKET ENGINEEric Besnard, Hsun Hu Chen , Tom MuellerMechanical and Aerospace Engineering DepartmentCalifornia State University, Long BeachJohn Garvey - Garvey Spacecraft CorporationHuntington Beach, CA
There's more to the story than simply wandering around Russia. Elon came to me in 2001 wanting to "do something that could demonstrate that humanity can become a multi planetary species". He still uses that phrase. He wanted to do it with his own money and had the idea of launching a colony of mice to Mars. He contacted me specifically because I was a well known Soviet expert, have experience launching satellites from Russia, I speak Russian, I know the Russian industry from my work on the French/Soviet Mars 94 program, and I spent a sum total of two years there in the 1990's working DoD programs. He knew that he could only afford a Russian rocket with his budget and this is where he started. Some shades of the motivations to start SpaceX to come later. For Elon, I was the best starting point because of my experience and knowledge of the Russian aerospace industry and Mars landers. I gathered a group of people in the US to study this mission and we eventually came up with the idea to land a plant growth chamber on Mars to show that life could thrive on Mars. I led the study supported by John Garvey, Chris Thompson, Bob Zubrin, Jim French, Mike Griffin, Tomas Svitek, Tom Mueller, Taber MacCallum, Jane Poynter and Dave Bearden. It was called Mars Oasis. We identified the Dnepr launch vehicle as the best choice for the mission to be launched in 2006 if I remember correctly. We went to Russia three times: once to talk to Lavotchkin about building our lander (thought to be cheaper than doing it in the US), another time to talk to a number of launch vehicle providers and the last time to actually purchase two Dnepr launches. When they refused to negotiate, Elon decided to build the rocket himself - the modern Falcon 9.Adeo had no particular experience with aerospace or engineering but was a trusted friend and advisor to Elon. As for me, I have several degrees in mechanical engineering and about 25 years of experience in rocket design, propulsion, satellite design and planetary landers.I sometimes wonder about how many people at the time thought of this as anything more than one more interesting project to come along that would otherwise dwindle and die. For my part, I never imagined that it would lead to where things are today. The Russians really sealed their own fate in the future launch market by creating the motivation for another competitor. The rest of us knew that Elon was a serious guy but we all underestimated his resolve to stick to his vision and actually make it happen. Adeo thought Elon was crazy for spending his money on such 'obviously foolish things' and I doubt he foresaw this outcome either. Life is interesting and this is an excellent example of the idea that life is a journey rather than a destination !
Their proposed propulsion is an obvious evolution from what Garvey planned for the nanosat launch vehicle, and the launch site also happening to be Kodiak.
...Jim Cantrell, Vector's CEO and SpaceX's first vice president of business development......The design for the engines and prototype came from fellow SpaceX founder John Garvey...
Two of SpaceX's founders are working on a new rocket to launch micro-satellites | The VergeQuote...Jim Cantrell, Vector's CEO and SpaceX's first vice president of business development......The design for the engines and prototype came from fellow SpaceX founder John Garvey...This is actually a good measure of success, when former employees leave a maturing company to create a competitor, or a company in a similar space.And since I support any company that is working to lower the cost to access space, and that appears to be their focus, then I wish them lots of luck and as much success as they can generate!
The initial motivation for developing these vehicles arose in 1996 when an effort was made by some of the DC-XA flight team personnel to get McDonnell Douglas' DC-XA project management to sponsor a flight demonstration of such a composite LOX tank. The intent was to build upon the DC-XA's pioneering flights with the first-ever LH2 composite tank and to prepare for future vehicles like the upcoming X-33. Management's advice was that "...if you think it is such a good idea, then go do it yourself ...
pretty sure this is being misreported. Garvey was never at SpaceX.
Yeah, John's company did the feasibility study for SpaceX when he was trying to decide if he could make a go in the launcher business.
Musk's "Mars Oasis" project is a small robotic lander intended primarily as a mini-greenhouse, growing samples of food crops in an enclosed chamber filled with treated Martian regolith (soil), to test the feasibility of humans living off the land. Other experiments may include test units for the production of oxygen and rocket fuel from the Martian atmosphere, and radiation sensors. In a radical departure from the missions scheduled by NASA, each experiment would focus on developing data critical to human habitation, rather than on pure planetary science. While the project's centerpiece is essentially the project long advocated by NASA planetary scientist Chris McKay, Musk stated that he had only met McKay in passing and had not discussed the project with him.Musk's immediate efforts are focused closely on the completion of a feasibility study by a Russian/American team including the Russian Babakin design bureau, currently the contractor for the Planetary Society's solar sail test mission, and John Garvey, formerly of McDonnell Douglas's DC-X program and founder of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation. The study, under way for four months, is driven as much by cost as by technical feasibility, as Musk would have the mission cost under $20 million. He claims to have lined up financial support from "other technology entrepreneurs disheartened by NASA's efforts over the past thirty years." He plans to announce the slate of project financiers within a few months of the end of the study.
TUSCON, Ariz., July 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today announced it has finalized the acquisition of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation. As part of the acquisition, Garvey Spacecraft Corporation Founder and CEO John Garvey joins Vector Space Systems as Chief Technology Officer.
- They have a suborbital launch planned from Mojave on July 30th
http://spacenews.com/vector-space-systems-plans-2018-first-flight-of-small-launch-vehicle/Article has excerpts from an interview with Steve Cantrell, Vector CEO, which gives quite a lot of new info and clarification. The important points are;- Garvey had already been hired, but the complete acquisition of Garvey Space wasn't complete until the July 20th release, it's not a late announcement.- They have a suborbital launch planned from Mojave on July 30th (presumably the P-19 vehicle Garvey Space had already completed) and another from Kodiak in September.- Suborbital tests of the full-scale Vector-1 are to start in 2017, and orbital tests in 2018- They have one customer and are in negotiations with another, both wanting to launch constellations; about 30 launches between the two- In the future, they plan to increase launch rate but not vehicle size- Kodiak is the planned site for orbital launches, negotiation is ongoing with Space Florida for a second pad at the cape
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene.
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene.
Quote from: Davidthefat on 07/29/2016 04:50 PMhttps://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene. Follow the below link to watch the below mentioned video.Vector Space @vectorspacesys 23h23 hours agoVector CTO John Garvey discussing the purpose of our test launch tomorrow #startuphttps://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759098434355814401
Quote from: russianhalo117 on 07/30/2016 05:59 PMQuote from: Davidthefat on 07/29/2016 04:50 PMhttps://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene. Follow the below link to watch the below mentioned video.Vector Space @vectorspacesys 23h23 hours agoVector CTO John Garvey discussing the purpose of our test launch tomorrow #startuphttps://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759098434355814401Per their Facebook: P20 leaving the launch rail. Another successful test!
Photo from the July 30, 2016 launch of our P20 sub-scale test vehicle. Another successful launch!
Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today finalized an agreement with Finnish-based Iceye to conduct 21 launches for Iceye's commercial SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellite constellation. The payload flights, Vector's first customer flights since it started operations in early 2016, will be conducted over a four-year span as part of a larger partnership with Iceye. The first test launch as part of this agreement was successfully completed July 30 in Mojave, which included hosting a prototype of Iceye's microsatellite's core computing and communications systems to test its electrical and mechanical resilience in a launch environment on Vector's P-20 sub-orbital launch vehicle. Iceye and Vector continue to explore future elements of their partnership related to space flight hardware development and data resale agreements.
Quote from: Davidthefat on 07/29/2016 04:50 PMhttps://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene. Background on this photo is consistent with FAR's big Quonset hut, so looks like that is indeed the launch site.
Quote from: Kryten on 07/29/2016 05:27 PMQuote from: Davidthefat on 07/29/2016 04:50 PMhttps://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene. Background on this photo is consistent with FAR's big Quonset hut, so looks like that is indeed the launch site.Just going by the size of that section, is this actually any bigger than sub-orb rockets launched by people like Copenhagen Suborbitals?
Vector Space Systems Awarded $2.5M in NASA and DARPA ContractsContract will Enhance Company's Flight Test Program of the Vector-R Launch VehicleTUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today announced that NASA has selected its Phase II proposal under the 2015 SBIR/STTR program to continue development of an advanced prototype of the upper stage for the Vector-R launch vehicle. The contract, proposed through Vector's acquired Garvey Spacecraft Corporation subsidiary, complements an earlier SBIR award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that addresses the use of the Vector-R first stage as a second stage for the XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane. In conjunction with the awarded contracts, totaling approximately $2.5M, Vector is investing in related infrastructure and range site preparations to enable high performance flight testing by the fourth quarter of 2017.Under this NASA Phase II STTR project, the Vector team is finishing the design and will then transition into assembly, integration and checkout of a full-scale prototype of the Vector-R upper stage engine. Vector will then integrate this stage with a prototype first stage engine, gained from a contract with DARPA, to create a fully functional two-stage flight test vehicle. The team members include academic partner University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC). The AAC hosted precursor ground operation pathfinder tests at its launch facility on Kodiak Island during Phase I that validated the feasibility of this site for the upcoming high performance mission.
Vector added a few new pictures to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vectorlaunchinc/posts/292045997833009
The launch cadence stuff is probably the least of their worries. It's not like they'll have customers with a cool couple million dollars walking up with payloads every week for a foreseeable future anyway.A bit more questionable is .. here we have a small team, with all the relevant experience, and maybe a good shot of getting financed well enough to actually make to orbit - and of course hence the noise as well, for raising awareness and through that finding the right talent and funds.However, before anything substantial has yet happened we are looking at no less than five rocket configurations with a bit of electric propulsion technology pivot thrown in, just to make sure everything is in laser focus...
TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today finalized an agreement with York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in small and medium class spacecraft, to conduct six satellite launches from 2019 through 2022 with the option for 14 additional launches. The first launch through the agreement will also be the inaugural launch of the Vector-H vehicle, which is capable of launching 100 kg into orbit, and will provide an integrated spacecraft to customers through a standardized platform.
Vector have just published the Vector-R and -H user guides, attached.
Am I the only one who smells a rat in this PR cascade from Vector?They say things like they have 100 launches contracted. And statements like "$45m in backlog and another $25m in backlog." (http://usgif.org/system/uploads/4608/original/Vector_Space_USGIF.pdf)Let's look at this.The Iceye contract is for 21 launches. But this is a young startup that raised $5.5m in VC and EU grant money 2015/6, and probably has $4.5M of that money left today.Helsinki, Finland, 12 November 2015 – Iceye announced today a $2.8 million Series A funding round led by True Ventures, with participation from Lifeline Ventures and Founder.org. In September, ICEYE also secured € 2.5 million in R&D funding from SME Instrument within EU Horizon 2020.There is industry commentary which is hard to take seriously:And because Iceye is buying in bulk, and in advance (deliveries will begin in 2018), it's getting the best rates Vector has to offer -- somewhere on the order of $20 million to $30 million for the entire project.Vector R has a 50kg payload bay. $1.5M is the price for the entire bay. Iceye is developing a nanosat, so it won't be taking 50kg or paying 1.5M per launch, even if it had the money to do so.And then the contract with York Space - a company that is barely a year old, which got seed funding in late 2015, and has 7 employees:The seven-employee company, currently based in Denver, is establishing a satellite factory near Centennial And signs an alleged $60m contract? The launch contract with Vector covers six launches between 2019 and 2022 and can be extended to add 14 more missions, the companies said. So actually 6 contracted, with an option for 14. The headline figure is just PR noise. Plus, Jim Cantrell is on the York Space Systems advisory board, and Iceye is buying 10 of their platforms. Is it a circle?And then there are the "fueling test" images, where they basically vent some LOX out of an empty aluminium tube (watch the video, there is only one "fuel" line running to the "rocket" http://vectorspacesystems.com/video/) that was welded up in what looks like Jim's garage (https://scontent.ftxl1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/13925890_277190145985261_6666894334636149440_o.jpg).I get that they want to make some noise, but this looks like heavily scented PR that ends up hurting everybody.
ICEYE is not a Cubesat or a nanosat, but an S-Class Microsat from York Space Systems
Vector testing aerospike engine. https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/798991167345917952
Vector Space Systems Receives Additional $1.25M in Seed Funding Led by Space Angels Network
Quote from: russianhalo117 on 11/06/2016 09:07 PMICEYE is not a Cubesat or a nanosat, but an S-Class Microsat from York Space SystemsWell the S-class is 65-85kg, and the Vector-R handles 50kg, so there is another big mismatch right there...
Quote from: TrevorMonty on 11/16/2016 08:42 PMVector testing aerospike engine. https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/798991167345917952No they aren't, that's a blog post about Garvey Space's aerospike testing in the early 2000's.
Nah, they might exaggerate a bit to gain more visibility and traction, but there isn't anything fantasy-land like here, unlike millions of people on Mars in ten years pronouncements
QuoteVector Space Systems Receives Additional $1.25M in Seed Funding Led by Space Angels Network http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-receives-additional-125m-in-seed-funding-led-by-space-angels-network-300365718.html?tc=eml_cleartime
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employeesVector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employeesMust be very confident in funding.
Quote from: savuporo on 12/17/2016 12:40 AMhttp://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employeesVector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employeesMust be very confident in funding.200 x 75000 = 15 million dollars a year in salaries. For a 6 month old startup company still raising seed-level $1m angel money off a mock-up and living off $1-2m in SBIR pork projects.Such utter horse manure. This kind of stupid PR will backfire eventually, it will be a mess bigger than Firefly in the end. And it will hurt other companies because nobody will trust the sector. Cantrell is going to ruin Garvey's relatively good name with this crap.
Quote from: ringsider on 12/17/2016 06:14 AMQuote from: savuporo on 12/17/2016 12:40 AMhttp://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employeesVector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employeesMust be very confident in funding.200 x 75000 = 15 million dollars a year in salaries. For a 6 month old startup company still raising seed-level $1m angel money off a mock-up and living off $1-2m in SBIR pork projects.Such utter horse manure. This kind of stupid PR will backfire eventually, it will be a mess bigger than Firefly in the end. And it will hurt other companies because nobody will trust the sector. Cantrell is going to ruin Garvey's relatively good name with this crap.Already bigger than SpaceX in 2006, with a pressure fed small rocket?
Already bigger than SpaceX in 2006, with a pressure fed small rocket?
Quote from: ringsider on 11/06/2016 10:14 PMQuote from: russianhalo117 on 11/06/2016 09:07 PMICEYE is not a Cubesat or a nanosat, but an S-Class Microsat from York Space SystemsWell the S-class is 65-85kg, and the Vector-R handles 50kg, so there is another big mismatch right there...look at the VSS info in the latest Vector-R Users Guide v1.5 for the Vector-RE1. Also these Microsats are a Custom non standard S-Class Platform being built by YSS.
February 3rd 2017Kanematsu Corporation (KG) is pleased to announce the intention to establish a business collaboration through strategic investment with Vector Space Systems (Vector) for micro launch vehicles and related services.Vector will offer small launch vehicles dedicated to micro satellites and related services. Vector's CEO Jim Cantrell was involved in the start-up of SpaceX, an influential company which provides heavy lift launch vehicles. Incidentally, Vector's CTO John Garvey had developed nanosat launch vehicles at Garvey Space Corp. (GSC) for 15 years prior to joining the team.Vector took over GSC's IP, assets and team in 2016, and is in the development of providing operational launch services by 2018. Vector has already been awarded contracts in several countries, including a contract with the United States' NASA program.In the current space industry, although there is growing demand in the micro satellite launch market, customers can only launch micro satellites using heavy launch vehicles, mounting their satellites into space through medium and large class satellites launches. This is problematic because customers cannot select the desired launch timing, and are limited in orbit to send the satellites. After 2018, Vector will enable Japanese customers to launch their low-cost microsatellites into a desired orbit and at their preferred timing. In addition to this launch capability, Vector will provide satellite simulation services using virtual machine technology through the GalacticSky program.KG has extensive experience in space business through sales transactions with European and American satellite manufacturers/satellite on-board equipment suppliers, satellite control system providers and rocket downrange system providers. KG will leverage synergy in addition to its domestic and international network with Vector, to make a strong showing in future business collaborations and further expand space businesses.About VectorEstablishment : March in 2016CEO : Jim CantrellLocation : 824 E, 16th Street, Tucson AZ 85719Business lineup: Development of launch vehicle and satellite simulation, launch service and its related servicesContact:Public & Investor Relations Section, Kanematsu CorporationTel: +81-3-5440-8000
"Strategic investment with Vector Space Systems"Does this read as KG is giving Vector money?
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employeesVector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employees
Some new images on the @vectorspacesys Twitter feed:https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/839298614362955776?s=09 https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/838943456340787200?s=09It looks more like and extension of existing Garvey work than something new. Not sure I believe they will be orbital by 2018.
Not entirely consistent with the 200 employees news.
Vector-R block0 P19h prototype getting ready for launch. Stay tuned for more photos and details about its first launch!
Vector-R P19h ready to be skinned and nearly ready for launch, next to her older and wiser sibling the Vector-R MEU.
They have some new Twitter updates:QuoteVector-R block0 P19h prototype getting ready for launch. Stay tuned for more photos and details about its first launch!Source: https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/839939371075641344QuoteVector-R P19h ready to be skinned and nearly ready for launch, next to her older and wiser sibling the Vector-R MEU.Source: https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/840013429196840960Interesting that they are now including "P19h" in the name, similar to the the old Garvey naming scheme. I guess that makes sense, as there are what appear to be two Prospector sized tanks near the nose with about 30 feet of plumbing leading to the fixed engine in the back. It looks like they are putting the same size tanks and engine from their previous vehicles into the OML of their orbital vehicle for the initial test flight.
Vector also seemed to be more focused on getting 4k helicopter footage of the engine running for 5 seconds ..
You can see the tanks in the pictures above; they're the small objects near the front of the rocket. It's essentially a mockup that flies.
Vector also seemed to be more focused on getting 4k helicopter footage of the engine running for 5 seconds than actually improving it over its ancient pressure fed ablative cooled designed. I chuckled when I saw those last pictures come in. Really guys, 2 mini tanks and a huge shell to make it look bigger?Let's just hope in the future they dont give newspace any more of a bubble rep than it already has.
Vector-R p19h and Vector-H prototypes nearing completion and getting ready for launch very soon... stay tuned for more news!
It is too easy to get "stupid money". It is much harder to get "smart money". Hunch here is that "smart money" would like to see a nano launcher without all the baggage (pad, GSE, facilities)...
Vector Space Systems on Saturday to erect Vector-R at Space Florida's LC46, announce "intention to use the launch facilities in the future."
Some titbits from Space show interview 19Mar. Fuel LOX/ Propylene. ISP high 200s. Autogenous pressurized, no He or exploding He tanks to worry about. Simple low cost pressure fed engine.
Quote from: TrevorMonty on 03/21/2017 10:31 PMSome titbits from Space show interview 19Mar. Fuel LOX/ Propylene. ISP high 200s. Autogenous pressurized, no He or exploding He tanks to worry about. Simple low cost pressure fed engine.Here's the link http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systemsFirst test flight planned for first week of April!Edit: focus for 2017 is suborbital flights; orbital 2018
A mock-up that flies is a pretty good thing to have for many reasons, no? Before committing to huge tooling expenses, getting data on how the aero shape performs through initial stages of flight sounds like not a bad plan. In addition putting engine, GSE, and electronics through it's paces, too.
I liked the irony of the bit where he said "there's some stealth projects out there, I know all about them" - this is the same guy who had his business plan plastered all over the WWW....
Quote from: ringsider on 03/23/2017 12:37 PMI liked the irony of the bit where he said "there's some stealth projects out there, I know all about them" - this is the same guy who had his business plan plastered all over the WWW....I'm not sure I see the irony here, I thought the business plan was leaked by the government? Hardly his fault.I do wonder who is the stealth mode small launcher company he mentioned...
Vector CEO @jamesncantrell and co-founder & CTO John Garvey at LC-46 @SpaceFlorida stay tuned for news conference.
"Who needs complex launch infrastructure? We bring our own!" Sincerely, The Vector-R
Yeah, basically a repeat of SpaceX's showy tactics in early company history. Worked out for them, though.
Vector CEO @jamesncantrell announcing we will launch out of LC-46 starting in 2018 & exploring building mfg integration facilities in FL
Truly amazing the attention they draw on themselves for what is basically an empty aluminum tube...
Rocket Mechanics @vectorspacesys getting Block 0.1 vehicle ready to ship out Monday. Stay tuned for flight #space
Vector-R Block 0 First Launch The Vector-R Block 0.1 ships out Monday to the FAR Test Site near Mojave California for launch on Thursday. This will be a major milestone and achievement in the company coming only one year after we first incorporated. This achievement was possible with the combination of a highly experienced Vector Team and a large inventory of pre-existing propulsion and vehicle technology and experienced team acquired from the Garvey Spacecraft Corporation last year. This Block 0 vehicle is the first in a test series being carried out this year to incrementally test flight systems for the orbital Block 1 launchers (2018) and gather operational experience with full scale vehicles. This vehicle has a Block 1 first stage engine and engine controls, the Block 1 flight computers and the full scale Block 1 airframe (made from aluminum instead of carbon fiber to conserve money). The vehicle is flying under an FAA waiver which permits us to rapidly fly prototypes in airspace without the lengthy approvals of the full flight vehicles. With this regulatory convenience, we will be able to fly a number of very significant flights that will eventually lead to a near orbital Block 0 flight early next year. Stay tuned as we become the FIRST of the new crop of SmallSat launch vehicles to make a full scale demonstration launch !
the full scale Block 1 airframe (made from aluminum instead of carbon fiber to conserve money)
The difference is that Musk's publicity stunt was to win customers. We've watched the hype machine fail to raise funding for years now. It's almost like the stupidest investors are already broke. I really do hope Vector fly something, as that's the only way to convince investors that you've actually got a shot.
..and no-one should forget that Musk almost landed himself in the "stupidest investors" category with the first few launches of his very own Falcon 1.
Space is not only hard, but a high-stakes gamble also. Let's hope they find someone they can partner with to get this venture off the ground.
The difference is that Musk's publicity stunt was to win customers.
We've watched the hype machine fail to raise funding for years now. It's almost like the stupidest investors are already broke.
I really do hope Vector fly something, as that's the only way to convince investors that you've actually got a shot.
I man, dang. If Rocketlabs can be worth a billion without launching, maybe Vector has a chance.
Quote from: Robotbeat on 04/04/2017 04:19 AMI man, dang. If Rocketlabs can be worth a billion without launching, maybe Vector has a chance.It's an evaluation based on the credentials of the existing investors. SpaceX was much the same in that regards.
Except SpaceX had launched and recovered Dragon before they were worth a billion.
Lots of pointless bad mouth on this thread. You can complain if they keep launching the same thing with no changes. In this case, the superficial vehicle and the launcher are "new".
StratSpace email@example.com to meThe Brave New World Of Space Launch2017 will be a pivotal year in the history of space launch. The year started off with a bang when a SpaceX Falcon-9 launched the Netherlands’ SES 10, a 5,000kg communication satellite, into orbit using a recycled launch vehicle first stage. The Falcon-9 appears to be back on track after a disastrous 2016 while the Proton M is still in a long process of replacing defective first stage engines that could delay them years and further delay the the planned Russian Communication system deployment. 2017 will also be the year of the micro launchers - a new breed of launchers dedicated to the small and micro satellite markets with several first launches expected this year.Launch vehicle flight rates and launch capacity (or lack of the right capacity in the case of recent years) is driving the overall space market by limiting the supply of reliable launches into orbit. There is great irony in today's launch market where some sectors have tremendous over-supply (Heavy Launch) while other sectors (small launch) are suffering from a severe shortage of capacity. This all speaks to a changing launch vehicle market that will reshape the face of the launch and satellite industry for decades to come!The current heavy launch providers face an over-capacity situation with the ULA Atlas/Delta, Ariane V, Proton and H2 facing the cheaper and more efficient Falcon Heavy set to debut this year. Meanwhile, the capacity for launching small and micro satellites is in extremely short supply and is projected to remain so until new providers such as RocketLab and Vector come on line. The launch supply situation is key for satellite operators as they consider options for launching new constellations and replenishing existing systems in orbit. The recent valuation of RocketLab in the Unicorn Billion Dollar range also speaks to investor interest and faith in the growing small satellite launch market dominated by RocketLab and Vector.***Graph1 goes here***The StratSpace forecast model predicts significant over-capacity in the Heavy Lift launch market and severe shortages of capacity in the small and micro launch markets where new entrants are vying to meet a growing market demand. The nominal model contemplates suppliers such as RocketLab and Vector being successful in developing operational capability in the small and micro launch sectors respectively. Despite this added launch capacity, the market will remain short of launch capacity for at least 5 years.Does Reusability Really Reduce Launch Cost ?Its long been understood In the space industry that achieving high launch rates is a key factor in reducing launch costs and increasing reliability. Yet, most launch rates for a single vehicle rarely exceed 10-12 launches per year in a good year ! The argument for reducing launch costs are well founded and based on known economics of learning curve cost reductions associated with manufacturing a complex machine combined with a more efficient use of fixed capital expenses. Reductions in recurring labor costs and supply chain cost reductions contribute to an ever-decreasing cost basis as more vehicles are produced. In addition to the cost reductions, if the vehicles are truly production oriented, increases in reliability would also be expected. The reality in the launch industry is quite different however since launch vehicles are still made in a bespoke manner with block upgrades every 10-15 units. The venerable SpaceX Falcon-9 is actually not the same vehicle that flew early on and has undergone major design changes every 10 flights on the average. These changes are aimed at enhancing launch capacity to orbit which lifts revenue and profit per launch. So what of the topic of reusability ? Why is SpaceX and Blue Origin spending massive capital to achieve reusability and why are other launch companies eschewing this in favor of high launch rates ? Reusability, like that demonstrated by SpaceX this week, is another cost reduction strategy. Most studies and models agree that re-use begins to generate positive returns after about the 10th cycle of re-use for each unit however. Taking capital expenditures into account and refurbishment costs, this means that a reusable rocket remains a sunk cost until about the 10th re-used flight on the average. After that tenth flight, lowered costs can be used to pad the profit lines or reduce costs to satellite operators. This makes sense with the Blue Origin business model of repeatedly flying tourists into space and returning to the launch pad and we would expect re-use of the launchers to extend into 20-50 launches per vehicle. In the case of SpaceX, the economics are less obvious but are worth a closer examination. The overall demand for a Falcon 9 class launch is simply not large enough to justify an investment return from re-usable first stage cores. If the cores work across the F-9 and F-Heavy launchers, the case begins to come to a close but it is still not a stellar ROI. Is there another reason why SpaceX is pursuing reusable first stages ? Perhaps the answer lies in production capacity. It's well established in industry circles that SpaceX needs about 20 F-9 launches a year to be firmly cash flow positive yet the factory does not appear capable of reliably producing this many Falcon 9's and flying them. Perhaps the reusability is the answer to the capacity problem by offsetting the need for building new large complex stages in addition to being a technology important for Mars missions. Based on our analysis of LV demand and likely re-use costs, we believe that re-use is SpaceX's way of increasing its flight tempo and to crowd out many of the other heavy lift launch vehicle producers who are more expensive and have an inherently limited launch rates. What this means, we believe, is that ULA and Russian launch providers face some very tough choices as the over capacity in this market continues to grow and SpaceX succeeds in re-using its first stages.***A button labelled ' Browse Stratspace forecasts is here, linking to this page***MicroSats Are Shattering The Launch Industry Micro and small satellites are set to shape the winners and losers in the launch industry for the next decade. While the majority of micro and small satellites are being launched as ride-share aboard much larger launches with large primary satellites. While this launch method has enabled the micro satellite revolution to begin, a dedicated launch service for this growing sector is emerging. Small sats markets are beginning to be built in such numbers that a dedicated launch service is not only a viable business but can support upwards of 4 competitors in this sector alone. RocketLab's Electron is focused not he small satellite sector (100-200 kg) with launches up to 50 per year and Vector is focused on the smaller micro satellites in the 25-100 kg range with launches exceeding 100 per year. RocketLab will launch first in 2017 and Vector is scheduled to follow closely behind in early 2018. It will be a race of execution between RocketLab and Vector to achieve high flight rates and start flying off the growing backlog of small and micro satellites.This new Space Race is emerging as one of the most interesting changes in the launch industry to come along since the success demonstrated by SpaceX. StratSpace models who the attraction of this market and lay clues to the changes about to happen before our very eyes. In many ways, this is shaping up to be the equivalent of the emergence of the PC in the 1980's and 1990's.***Graph2 goes here***Micro And Small Satellites To Dominate Market by 2020The StratSpace market forecast for spacecraft procurement shows a running trend that nano, micro and small satellites will dominate the market by 2020. By 2022, 70% of all spacecraft being built will be nano, micro or small satellites weighing under 250 kg. This is a stunning shift in the market and is further accentuated by the projected drop in demand for traditionally strong GEO comsats over the next five years. In five years time, small and micro satellites will become the industry norm and the trend most resembles that of the micro computer of the 1980's.***Image of Rocketlab launch complex***RocketLab uses a fixed launch infrastructure located in New Zealand and analysts expect launch rates of up to 50 per year from the company.***Image of Vector launch trailer***Vector uses a mobile launch approach where all that is needed to launch is a concrete pad on a commercial launch range. To date, they have plans to launch from Cape Canaveral, Spaceport Camden and Kodiak Island Alaska at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska.Happy to help.Questions ? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org !Copyright © 2017 Vector, All rights reserved.You are receiving this email communication as one of our company investors. [Note; I'm not, I just signed up for email updates]
FWIW, this is fairly standard fair for investment these days. Not defending it but explaining it.
In fact, if you are not overt you never even get heard.
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/04/2017 09:14 PMFWIW, this is fairly standard fair for investment these days. Not defending it but explaining it.I am fairly certain I have more experience of professional venture finance than anyone on this forum, and this is not "standard fair".
QuoteIn fact, if you are not overt you never even get heard. This is untrue. There are dozens of examples, but here are two from this sector. Relativity Space raised $10m in a matter of weeks, as a complete startup, from solid tech VCs, and almost nobody knows what they are doing. That is about 10x more VC money than Vector, and they are utterly silent. Actually I would say Vector has angel money, not VC money, which is usually naive money with weak DD.
Rocket Lab didn't even make what they were doing public until they had locked Khosla and K1W1 in private. Not a whisper until they showed off the engine.
This is not a investment or entrepreneurship forum, this is a space interest forum. So its not our place to judge any of these firms as investment, because there is no "voir dire" to empanel an effective, impartial "technical jury" .
@vectorspacesys Vector-R Block 0.1 ready to launch. Stay tuned ! #Space #SpaceX #CubeSat
<SNIP>Now, apart from this dick measuring contest, perhaps there is an agenda here.
If so, its not uncommon for ppl to run down a rival ... so as to buy time for another. Which is why "be excellent to others" means "uniformly give others the benefit of the doubt".
Which is why won't take this further than this post. Because it can become unfair to all space start-up companies due to non-uniform treatment.
Vector is a problem in the making..
General Description:Main purpose is the use for aerospace component, sub-systems and systems manufacturing, test and integrationFacility produces “small launch vehicles” (up to 60’ length)Final integration is horizontal (no high bay areas required)[...]Building Assumptions:[...]Mfg floor space, sqft approx.: 56,000Corporate offices, Eng, Sales, sqft approx.: 20,000[...]
Vector-R ready to go... t-minus 17hrs
@vectorspacesys team ready for launch this morning. We are at T-50 minutes #space
Am I the only one who thinks it is a bit weird that @jamesncantrell tweets Vector updates and hashtags the tweets with #SpaceX? See https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/849781206149341184Hopefully we'll see a launch today.
Fueling is complete .... restarting countdown clock
Launch abort ...main engine valve issue. Recycling countdown thirty to 60 minutes
Scrub for today. Retry tomorrow
@vectorspacesys vehicle post pad abort. Winds picked up just now to beyond range limits from incoming storm. Possible retry next week
Automated pad abort vehicle fine issue being investigated wind too high & storm coming will attempt again at the earliest next week
She lives to fly another day. Will update once data is analyzed on the auto abort reason and date for next scheduled attempt.
Am I the only one who thinks it is a bit weird that @jamesncantrell tweets Vector updates and hashtags the tweets with #SpaceX? See https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/849781206149341184
I guess they are flight testing the aerodynamics of the Vector-R with this launch.
Quote from: Rik ISS-fan on 04/07/2017 10:11 AMI guess they are flight testing the aerodynamics of the Vector-R with this launch.Some of us think it's really more about PR than about testing aerodynamics.
Vector close $4.5M funding bridging round:http://www.bizjournals.com.ln.is/7k1idArticle says 'next' test flight is May.
On the heels of our recent bridge round close, the much anticipated date of our next launch is May 3rd! Stay tuned... http://tucson.com/business/tucson/tucson-tech-rocket-firm-surging-ahead-on-all-fronts/article_de90e345-7420-503c-814c-4980d936a58c.html
T-minus 7 days..this is our first mission patch Plan is 100+ launches/yr & a patch each. Audience participation on future patch ideas?