Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 338269 times)

Offline playadelmars

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1000 on: 07/29/2022 06:15 pm »
Terran R? 2025?

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1001 on: 07/29/2022 09:02 pm »
Terran R? 2025?

PM3's list is "new smallsat launchers," Terran R (and Neutron and Firefly Beta) aren't small-lift launch vehicles. In theory one could create a separate list for new commercial medium-or-larger launch vehicles, but it would consist of exactly those three (plus Starship, I suppose, and maybe New Glenn and Vulcan), so no need to maintain a regularly-updated list.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1002 on: 07/29/2022 09:53 pm »
Terran R? 2025?

PM3's list is "new smallsat launchers," Terran R (and Neutron and Firefly Beta) aren't small-lift launch vehicles. In theory one could create a separate list for new commercial medium-or-larger launch vehicles, but it would consist of exactly those three (plus Starship, I suppose, and maybe New Glenn and Vulcan), so no need to maintain a regularly-updated list.
You forgot Ariane 6.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2022 02:01 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1003 on: 07/30/2022 05:56 am »
PM3's list is "new smallsat launchers," Terran R (and Neutron and Firefly Beta) aren't small-lift launch vehicles. In theory one could create a separate list for new commercial medium-or-larger launch vehicles, but it would consist of exactly those three (plus Starship, I suppose, and maybe New Glenn and Vulcan), so no need to maintain a regularly-updated list.

921, Angara A5V, Ariane 6, CZ-9, Gravity-1, H3, Firefly Beta, Jielong-3, Neutron, New Glenn, Pallas-1, SLS, Soyuz-5, Soyuz-6, Starship, Terran R, Tianlong-2, Vulcan, Zhuque 2, ZK-2

8 Chinese, 7 American, 3 Russian, 1 Japanese, 1 European. With the Chinese being mostly medium size launchers, the other mostly heavy. But this is getting offtopic.
« Last Edit: 07/30/2022 06:28 am by PM3 »
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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1004 on: 07/30/2022 08:09 am »
PM3's list is "new smallsat launchers," Terran R (and Neutron and Firefly Beta) aren't small-lift launch vehicles. In theory one could create a separate list for new commercial medium-or-larger launch vehicles, but it would consist of exactly those three (plus Starship, I suppose, and maybe New Glenn and Vulcan), so no need to maintain a regularly-updated list.

921, Angara A5V, Ariane 6, CZ-9, Gravity-1, H3, Firefly Beta, Jielong-3, Neutron, New Glenn, Pallas-1, SLS, Soyuz-5, Soyuz-6, Starship, Terran R, Tianlong-2, Vulcan, Zhuque 2, ZK-2

8 Chinese, 7 American, 3 Russian, 1 Japanese, 1 European. With the Chinese being mostly medium size launchers, the other mostly heavy. But this is getting offtopic.

Well, I did specifically say "commercial," which excludes things like SLS, all the Russian vehicles, (maybe) all the Chinese ones (honestly, I've made little effort to determine to what extent any of their "private" companies truly are commercial), and debatably Ariane 6 (although I guess they're vaguely similar to Vulcan in terms of government funding). Although since your list (and this thread itself) makes no such distinction, perhaps I shouldn't have done so in the first place.

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1005 on: 07/30/2022 09:25 am »
Well, I did specifically say "commercial," which excludes things like SLS, all the Russian vehicles, (maybe) all the Chinese ones (honestly, I've made little effort to determine to what extent any of their "private" companies truly are commercial), and debatably Ariane 6 (although I guess they're vaguely similar to Vulcan in terms of government funding). Although since your list (and this thread itself) makes no such distinction, perhaps I shouldn't have done so in the first place.

Oops, I missed "commercial".

AFAIK Gravity-1, Pallas-1, Tianlong-2 and Zhuque 2 are privately funded, though they may be subsidized by technology transfer from state companies. These are all medium launchers.

H3 would also go into the Ariane 6 & Vulcan category.

As you point out, there are different ways to define "commercial" and "private". E. g. the development of Chinese Kuaizhou and Jielong launchers has been mostly state-funded, but they are often called "commercial" because they are intended to be commercially profitable or even be privatized. (Like the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is called "commercial" though it is operated by the states Virginia and Maryland).

Bottom line, these distinctions are so difficult that a list of commercial or private launchers might not work.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2022 12:37 pm by PM3 »
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1006 on: 07/30/2022 01:48 pm »
I guess it's time to update the list with ZK-1A

ZK-1A lifts 1.5 t to 500 km SSO. This probably translates to > 2 t to 200 km LEO, which makes it a medium size launcher.

The CAS Space website says 2 t to LEO, but I assume this refers to > 200 km height. E. g. for the ZK-2, their LEO reference height is 400 km.

Yes.  2 tonnes to 200 km x 40 deg.   1.5 tonnes to 500 km x 98 deg.  It is largely an original Vega analog, though with a solid fourth stage (augmented by liquid vernier thrusters).

Most of these solid rocket orbital launchers from China seem to have been based on missile motors, but I'm not sure about ZK-1A (Lijian 1).  It is reported to be 2.65 meters diameter.  DF-31/41 are skinnier, reportedly.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/30/2022 01:51 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1007 on: 07/30/2022 01:55 pm »
Ok, with max. 2 t to 200 km LEO it qualifies as a small launcher. So ZK-1A is indeed the first new small launcher to reach orbit in 2022.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1008 on: 07/31/2022 05:49 am »
Most of these solid rocket orbital launchers from China seem to have been based on missile motors, but I'm not sure about ZK-1A (Lijian 1).  It is reported to be 2.65 meters diameter.  DF-31/41 are skinnier, reportedly.

DF-31 is reported to be 2.25 m in diameter, but the fairing diameter is given as 2.65 m.

http://www.military-today.com/missiles/df_31ag.htm
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202207/1271519.shtml

This image of the CAS Space rocket family gives the same diameter of 2.65 m for the fairing and core. Photos of the first launch match this configuration, but with earlier drawings showing the core being smaller than the fairing. If we believe that DF-31 is 2.25 m diameter and ZK-1A is 2.65 m in diameter, this can only mean that ZK-1A is using a newly developed solid stage.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2022 05:52 am by Steven Pietrobon »
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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1009 on: 08/04/2022 10:07 pm »
Following the news from Astra today that they are abandoning their series 3 rockets:

twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555312797084291072

Quote
Pretty amazing how many companies are still developing <500 kg to LEO smallsat launchers. Every commercial company that has reached the pad with one has now pivoted away. There is no market.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555313166581567489

Quote
What is the minimum payload to orbit also remains highly up for debate. Obviously, highly dependent on pricing too, but it may not be 1,000 kg either. We'll see!

I wonder how much itís due to it being difficult to get funding for a larger launcher without a proven track record? So build a smaller launcher and, if successful, hope to get funding to build a more economically viable launcher?

Offline Kosmos2001

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1010 on: 08/25/2022 07:30 pm »
For everyone who wants to continue maintaining these lists, here's a recent comprehensive survey of smallsat launchers presented at the 35th Small Satellite Conference in August (contains big lists of companies and their proposed launch vehicles):

Small Launchers in a Pandemic World - 2021 Edition of the Annual Industry Survey

Also attached below for posterity.

Quote from the abstract: There is evidence that this could be the year when the small launch market finally becomes saturated.

So it began. :popcorn:

PS: Look at the Defunct bar.

Mr Niederstrasser has updated his report about smallsat launchers.

A Small Launch Per Month? - 2022 Edition of the Annual Industry Survey
« Last Edit: 08/25/2022 07:34 pm by Kosmos2001 »

Online TrevorMonty

« Last Edit: 08/30/2022 07:09 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1012 on: 09/08/2022 03:06 am »
Whatís the smallest commercial LV that will launch in the next year or so?

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1013 on: 09/08/2022 10:38 am »
Whatís the smallest commercial LV that will launch in the next year or so?

The smallest announced to launch is Tlon's Aventura I, 25 kg to SSO.

https://tlon.space/aventura-i/
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Online TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1014 on: 09/08/2022 07:55 pm »
Three launches next week.
Firefly on 11th. I give them better than even chance of success given its 2nd attempt.
ABL on 12th. Maiden launch, history isn't on their side so 30%. Still hope they make it.
Electron 14th. 95% chance.


Offline Danderman

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1015 on: 09/09/2022 03:37 am »
Whatís the smallest commercial LV that will launch in the next year or so?

The smallest announced to launch is Tlon's Aventura I, 25 kg to SSO.

https://tlon.space/aventura-i/


Yep. They are small.

I didnít see an indication that they will launch any time soon.

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1016 on: 09/09/2022 05:44 am »
I didnít see an indication that they will launch any time soon.

See https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55333.msg2346245#msg2346245.

The next smallest with some (slight) chance to launch within 12 months is Orbex' Prime, 200 kg to LEO.

The smallest that will definitely launch within a year is Firefly Alpha, 1000 kg to LEO. It is scheduled to launch on Sunday.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2022 05:49 am by PM3 »
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Offline c4fusion

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1017 on: 09/09/2022 11:57 pm »
I didnít see an indication that they will launch any time soon.

See https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55333.msg2346245#msg2346245.

The next smallest with some (slight) chance to launch within 12 months is Orbex' Prime, 200 kg to LEO.

The smallest that will definitely launch within a year is Firefly Alpha, 1000 kg to LEO. It is scheduled to launch on Sunday.
That would be Electron  ;)

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1018 on: 09/10/2022 05:09 am »
The smallest that will definitely launch within a year is Firefly Alpha, 1000 kg to LEO. It is scheduled to launch on Sunday.
That would be Electron  ;)

This thread is about new smallsat launchers. Electron is not new.
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Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1019 on: 09/10/2022 05:11 am »
Copy from previous post, last updated on August 31, to keep the list at the top of the current thread page.

More updates:

-09-24: shifted expectation for Terran 1 from 2022+ to 2023 because of engine issues
-09-24: mentioned Eris 2
-10-01: Firefly Alpha is in orbit
-10-01: Prime, Spectrum, RFA One and Vikram I are now announced for 2023
-10-01: moved Agnibaan up from 2024 to 2023
-10-02: mentioned MaiaSpace Mini and Astraius
-10-03: delisted SL1, which is now announced for 2024
-10-03: Venture Orbital has been renamed to "Latitude"
-10-13: delisted Aventura I due to serious doubt of orbital capability and funding
-10-13: C6 launch is now announced for 2024 (was 2022)



New smallsat launchers - first successful orbital flight since thread opening:

2018-01  ...  Electron     US/NZ     Rocket Lab
2018-03  ...  SS-520       Japan     JAXA/IHI (public/private)
2019-07  ...  Hyperbola-1  China     iSpace
2019-08  ...  Jielong-1    China     Chinarocket (state-owned)
2020-04  ...  Qased        Iran      (military)
2020-11  ...  Ceres-1      China     Galactic Energy
2021-01  ...  LauncherOne  US        Virgin Orbit
2021-11  ...  Rocket 3     US        Astra
2022-07  ...  ZK-1A        China     CAS Space (state-owned)
2022-10  ...  Alpha        US        Firefly

Launch expected [announced] NET:     (+ = very ambitious schedule or unclear date)

2022  [2022]  RS1          US        ABL                - launch thread
2022  [2022]  Kuaizhou-11  China     ExPace (public/private)
2022+ [2022]  Jielong-3    China     Chinarocket (state-owned)
2022+ [2022+] Zoljanah     Iran      (military)

2023  [soon]  SSLV         India     ISRO (state-owned)
2023  [2022]  Terran 1     US        Relativity         - launch thread
2023  [2022]  Agnibaan     India     Agnikul
2023  [2023]  Vikram I     India     Skyroot
2023  [2023]  Prime        UK/Den    Orbex
2023+ [2022+] Qaem         Iran      (military?)
2023+ [2022]  Kairos       Japan     Space One / Canon

2024  [2023]  Rocket 4     US        Astra
2024  [2023]  Skyrora XL   UK/Ukr    Skyrora
2024  [2023]  Spectrum     Germany   ISAR Aerospace
2024  [2023]  RFA One      Germany   RFA / OHB
2024+ [2022]  Kestrel      Aus/Twn   ATSpace / TiSpace
2024+ [2023]  Hyperbola-2  China     iSpace

2025  [2023]  Eris         Australia Gilmour

Intentionally not listed:

- ARCA EcoRocket [2022], too dubious
- Innospace Hanbit-Nano [2022], just a suborbital stage test
- Tlon Aventura I [2022], too dubious
- Bellatrix Chetak [2023], too unclear if this will ever launch
- Phantom Daytona [2023], too dubious
- SES Hello-1 [2023], too dubious
- Vaya Dauntless [2023], too dubious
- iRocket Shockwave [2023], too dubious
- Interstellar Zero [2023], not funded
- Rocket Pi Darwin-1 [2023], probably just a hop or suborbital test
- C6 Launch [2024], too dubious
- Launcher Light [2024], too dubious
- SpinLaunch [2025], too dubious
- other launches announced for ≥ 2024, too far away to evaluate:
  - Astraius launcher [2024]
  - Deep Blue Nebula-1 [2024]
  - HyImpulse SL1 [2024]
  - Latitude Zephyr [2024]
  - PLD Miura 5 [2024]
  - Reaction Dynamics launcher [2024]
  - Gilmour Eris 2 [2024]
  - bluShift Red Dwarf [2024+]
  - IAE/DLR VLM-1 [2025]
  - MaiaSpace Mini [2026]
  - Roketsan MUFS [2026]
  - Honda rocket [2030]
- rockets without an announced launch date
- projects without notable media coverage

Unclear - no update on launch date:

- Super Stripy derivate (X-Bow/US), announced for 2019
- Blue Whale 1 (Perigee/Korea), announced for 2020
- Newline-1 (Linkspace/China), announced for 2021 in 2019
- Ravn X (Aevum/US), announced for 2021 in 2019
- Xingtu-1 (Spacetrek/China), announced for 2021 in 2019
- Simorgh (Iran), no news since failure in Dec. 2021

Canceled:

- Boeing XS-1 (US) - not launched
- Zhuque-1 (Landspace/China) - one failed orbital launch attempt
- Vector-R and -H (US) - no orbital launch attempts
- OS-M (OneSpace/China) - one failed orbital launch attempt
« Last Edit: 10/19/2022 10:07 pm by PM3 »
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