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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Commercial Space Flight General => Topic started by: savuporo on 04/26/2016 04:23 PM

Title: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/26/2016 04:23 PM
First feature on Vector for NSF via an interview/feature by Chris Gebhardt:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/vector-space-first-test-flight-aims-small-sat-expansion/


Looks like Garvey spacecraft will be called Vector Space Systems now.

http://spaceref.biz/company/spacex-founding-team-launches-vector-space-systems-to-redefine-space-commerce.html
http://vectorspacesystems.com/

Awesome that there is a team and confirmed funding now

EDIT: according to TechCrunch, first flights in 2017
http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/26/vector-space-systems-aims-to-launch-satellites-by-the-hundreds/
Quote
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.

Looks like all the Prospector flights count as Vector flights
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Proponent on 04/26/2016 04:52 PM
EDIT: according to TechCrunch, first flights in 2017
http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/26/vector-space-systems-aims-to-launch-satellites-by-the-hundreds/
Quote
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.

Interpreting "real flight" as orbital, I'm going to take the forecast with a grain of salt.

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.  Expensive fuels like that seem unlikely, though, for a low-cost commercial microsat launcher.  Garvey has been the foremost proponent of propylene in the past and has flown it.  I wonder whether it might finally get its day in the sun....
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/26/2016 04:57 PM
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.
Garvey has been flying LOX/Propylene for years
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Proponent on 04/26/2016 05:28 PM
Yeah, I must accidentally posted a version of my post without that fact in it -- I was "thinking out loud" as I wrote.

The Garvey Spacecraft Corporation's website (http://www.garvspace.com/Current_Projects.htm) lists the P-19 rocket with a 5000-lb-thrust lox/propylene engine as a "current project" as of April 2015.  It looks like the P-19 is testing the engine for the microsat launcher, which is to have three 5000-lb engines.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/26/2016 05:59 PM
Propylene has the distinction of being an advanced hydrocarbon that is super cheap and storable at room temp under slight pressure (like a typical pump-fed ullage pressure, not even counting the high pressures of a pressure-fed rocket). And it gets a big boost in density from cryogenic subchilling, and nearly as good Isp as methane.

Good choice. Also like that they're going to reuse the rocket. I bet they'll go with an Armadillo Aerospace style guided Parafoil recovery.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Proponent on 04/26/2016 06:04 PM
Having been asking "Why not propylene?" for years (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25953.msg784457#msg784457), I am actually sort of irrationally excited about the prospect of lox-propylene making it to prime time, even though it's not really totally new news (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/11/30/garvey-space-gets-nasa-contract-for-nanosat-launches/).  However, just as propylene hits the news, my enthusiasm for propylene in first-stage applications has sagged a bit (see the 3rd plot in this post (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31040.msg1518743#msg1518743)).

EDIT "prime" -> "prime time"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: deptrai on 04/26/2016 07:20 PM
Who are these guys?

http://vectorspacesystems.com/  (http://vectorspacesystems.com/)

http://spacenews.com/vector-space-systems-raises-funds-to-develop-small-launch-vehicle/  (http://spacenews.com/vector-space-systems-raises-funds-to-develop-small-launch-vehicle/)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Tuts36 on 04/26/2016 07:29 PM
Apparently they either acquired and/or merged are somehow affiliated with Garvey Spacecraft Corporation.


Here's a quote from http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/this-company-believes-baby-rockets-have-a-big-future-in-space/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/this-company-believes-baby-rockets-have-a-big-future-in-space/)

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Almurray1958 on 04/26/2016 07:33 PM
www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/spacex-founding-team-launches-vector-space-systems-to-redefine-space-commerce-300257332.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/26/2016 07:44 PM
Garvey's experiments with lox biprops go back at least 15 years. He used to have a partnership at CSULB called CALVEIN

https://web.csulb.edu/colleges/coe/mae/views/projects/rocket/background/


Glad to see he found partners and funding to build upon this.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 04/26/2016 08:02 PM
 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/26/2016 08:07 PM
Their website is absolutely riddled with typos and a horrible lack of grammar. Some of their chosen slogans are askew even.

It would do you a massive (and free) service to improve the website's overall comprehensibility, Vector. Perhaps take a few tips from firefly or rocketlab since you have comparative graphs featured on your website.

Other than that, keep going! Your propulsion solution is intriguing.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: RedLineTrain on 04/26/2016 08:16 PM
This is interesting.  Can Garvey be said to be a cofounder of SpaceX?  This is the first that I have seen the reference.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/26/2016 08:28 PM
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.

http://spaceref.biz/company/spacex-founding-team-launches-vector-space-systems-to-redefine-space-commerce.html

Quote
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

Their proposed propulsion is an obvious evolution from what Garvey planned for the nanosat launch vehicle (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2013/04/24/garvey-spaceflight-aims-high-with-nano-sat-launch-vehicle/), and the launch site also happening to be Kodiak (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/08/19/aac-garvey-spacecraft-deliver-rocket-motor-kodiak/).

Also worth noting that Besnard and Garvey have collaborated for a while:

http://www.rocket-propulsion.info/resources/articles/AIAA_02-4038-Plug.pdf

Quote
DESIGN, MANUFACTURING AND TEST
OF A PLUG NOZZLE ROCKET ENGINE
Eric Besnard, Hsun Hu Chen , Tom Mueller

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
California State University, Long Beach
John Garvey - Garvey Spacecraft Corporation
Huntington Beach, CA

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~sharring/nlv.pdf

EDIT: also, Jim Cantrell:
http://spacenews.com/author/jim-cantrell/
https://www.quora.com/profile/Jim-Cantrell

This answer in particular:
https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Elon-Musk-ask-Jim-Cantrell-and-Adeo-Ressi-in-particular-to-travel-to-Russia-with-him-in-2001
Quote
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 !

Pretty small world
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 04/26/2016 08:39 PM
Their proposed propulsion is an obvious evolution from what Garvey planned for the nanosat launch vehicle (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2013/04/24/garvey-spaceflight-aims-high-with-nano-sat-launch-vehicle/), and the launch site also happening to be Kodiak (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/08/19/aac-garvey-spacecraft-deliver-rocket-motor-kodiak/).
Compare the Vector concept to this later Garvey Nanosat design from Garvey's website; that doesn't look an evolution to me, just the same vehicle.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: catdlr on 04/27/2016 12:58 AM
Here is Garvey Space YouTube Channel for some of their previous test launches.

https://www.youtube.com/user/GarveySpace
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Coastal Ron on 04/27/2016 02:21 AM
Two of SpaceX's founders are working on a new rocket to launch micro-satellites (http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/26/11510326/vector-space-systems-new-rocket-funding-p19) | The Verge

Quote
...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!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/27/2016 02:27 AM
Two of SpaceX's founders are working on a new rocket to launch micro-satellites (http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/26/11510326/vector-space-systems-new-rocket-funding-p19) | The Verge

Quote
...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!
pretty sure this is being misreported. Garvey was never at SpaceX.

There are couple nice pages of the background of how Garvey Spacecraft came to be, with the lineage back to DC-X ( again )

http://garvspace.com/KimboBack.html

http://garvspace.com/History.html
http://garvspace.com/News_2003_2006.htm

Quote
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 ...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: jongoff on 04/27/2016 04:09 AM
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. AIUI, that feasibility study convinced Elon to throw his hat in the ring, and may have come up with the basic concept for Falcon I, IIRC. Elon liked it enough that he hired most of the people who had been working with Garvey on the study. AIUI, Tom Mueller, Gwynne Shotwell, Chris Thompson, and a few of the other early SpaceX employees were in this group that Garvey had been pulling together.

So no, not an early SpaceX employee, but he had a significant early role in Elon deciding to get into the launch business.

I'm going off of several year old memory on some of these details, but I think the above is basically accurate. I left out a few details I was less sure about.

~Jon
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/27/2016 04:27 AM
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.

As per mr. Cantrell's comments quoted above and other sources, the story checks out (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=3698)

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/19/2016 12:29 PM
Vector Space Systems Completes Successful Test of Second Stage Engine in Advance of First Sub-Orbital Test Flight

Sub-orbital test flights to begin Summer 2016; orbital launches planned for 2018

TUSCON, Ariz., May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector Space Systems, a Micro Satellite space platform enterprise comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today announced the successful test of its second stage engine, a major milestone in advance of the company's first sub-orbital test flight as Vector Space Systems this summer. The test, which took place in Mojave, California on May 14, featured the company's second stage high-performance engine for its launch vehicle. Employing 3D printed components, the engine produces 500 pounds of thrust with a high specific impulse for maximum fuel efficiency. This development test was one in a series of second-stage engine tests leading to flight qualification in 2017.

Officially announced in May 2016, Vector Space Systems builds upon 10 years of research and more than 30 sub-orbital launches, and was formed to connect space startups with affordable and reliable frequent launch-enabling platforms and vehicles at a cost point never before possible for accessing space. Featuring a roster of technology and aerospace veterans to provide industry insight, expertise and leadership, Vector Space Systems plans large-scale sub-orbital test flights by 2017, with orbital launches scheduled for 2018.

"Led by Vector CTO, John Garvey, the Vector propulsion team has made tremendous progress in a very rapid manner, building and successfully testing an engine using 3D printed components within two months of the company's founding," said Vector Space Systems co-founder and CEO Jim Cantrell. "The rapidity and success of this test sets the standard for the swift development of our launch vehicle and furthers our mission to revolutionize the way commerce accesses and utilizes space."

Vector Space Systems continues to aggressively conduct tests of their first and second-stage engines, the mobile launch platform, and is creating full-scale vehicle engineering models. In addition, smaller sub-orbital test launches are planned for Summer 2016 to continue demonstrating functionality and flight operations.

About Vector Space Systems

Vector Space Systems is a disruptive space innovator that connects space startups with affordable and reliable launch enabling platforms and vehicles at a cost point never before possible for accessing space. For more information, visit www.vectorspacesystems.com.

SOURCE Vector Space Systems
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/19/2016 02:28 PM
Mid air recovery of 1st stage by UAV. At approx 500kg maybe a bit heavy for current drones (250kg) but they are getting more powerful each day.
See http://vectorspacesystems.com/technology

These small LV are ideal for MAR as they don't need a large expensive helicopter.


Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 07/20/2016 04:44 PM
Vector Space Systems has formally acquired Garvey Space;
Quote
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.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-completes-acquisition-of-garvey-spacecraft-corporation-to-enhance-micro-satellite-launch-capabilities-300301053.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lar on 07/20/2016 06:55 PM
is that just a late announcement? The PR from mid May badged Garvey as the Vector CTO...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: RanulfC on 07/21/2016 05:56 PM
I also like the low-key mention of the optional electric, (SEP?) third stage.

Randy
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 07/25/2016 11:14 AM
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
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 07/25/2016 02:57 PM
- They have a suborbital launch planned from Mojave on July 30th
I would assume that Mojave refers to the Friends of Amateur Rocketry site, but there isn't anything on their calendar for this weekend. Does anyone know where they are launching from?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/25/2016 06:48 PM
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
Orbital version is called Vector Wolverine
Source: http://vectorspacesystems.com/technology/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 07/29/2016 04:50 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First suborbital flight for Vector tomorrow testing 2nd stage engine on lox & propylene. 

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 07/29/2016 05:27 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/30/2016 05:59 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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 ago
Vector CTO John Garvey discussing the purpose of our test launch tomorrow #startup
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759098434355814401

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/31/2016 06:38 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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 ago
Vector CTO John Garvey discussing the purpose of our test launch tomorrow #startup
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759098434355814401


Per their Facebook:
P20 leaving the launch rail. Another successful test!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/01/2016 05:20 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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 ago
Vector CTO John Garvey discussing the purpose of our test launch tomorrow #startup
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759098434355814401


Per their Facebook:
P20 leaving the launch rail. Another successful test!
And from their Twitter:
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/760136846441537536
2 hours ago.
Quote
Photo from the July 30, 2016 launch of our P20 sub-scale test vehicle. Another successful launch!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/02/2016 07:39 AM
Here's the photo that was posted. Anybody know how high the vehicle went?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 08/02/2016 01:42 PM
A video of the launch is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iBHM_bgBiE
There are also a few more from different angles on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vectorlaunchinc. Looks like the rocket only went up a thousand feet or so.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 08/02/2016 05:07 PM
Quote
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.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-announces-21-launch-agreement-with-iceye-300307430.html?tc=eml_cleartime
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/06/2016 11:16 AM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/07/2016 05:30 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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?
Probably about the same as they launched before under "Garvey."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/07/2016 05:42 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/759065073289617408

First 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?
P-20 is a low altitude test rocket validating technologies and is not a stage that will fly on the Vector-1 (Vector Wolverine) rocket family.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Prober on 08/09/2016 02:00 PM
couple articles in 3D Printing


http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34421.msg1566087#msg1566087
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/02/2016 08:58 PM
Several tweets on their engineering model of their launch vehicle on their launcher heading out for testing.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/771794914694705152

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/771795628049301504

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/771795880999464960
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/03/2016 01:50 AM
Attaching images for posterity.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 09/08/2016 02:55 PM
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-awarded-25m-in-nasa-and-darpa-contracts-300324578.html
Quote
Vector Space Systems Awarded $2.5M in NASA and DARPA Contracts

Contract will Enhance Company's Flight Test Program of the Vector-R Launch Vehicle

TUCSON, 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 09/10/2016 04:47 PM
Vector added a few new pictures to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vectorlaunchinc/posts/292045997833009
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 09/12/2016 01:14 AM
I love the 'this-way-up arrow' showing which way to point the thing..  ;D
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 09/12/2016 01:14 PM
Vector added a few new pictures to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vectorlaunchinc/posts/292045997833009

This is just a full-size hollow aluminum model with some paintwork, is that correct? It has nothing inside that will make it fly?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 09/12/2016 08:47 PM
Discovery channel video about their test in August

http://linkis.com/review.bellmedia.ca/GLLgv
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Skyrocket on 09/14/2016 06:03 AM
Some info on the Vector launch vehicle family from VSS

(Edit: Document removed - preliminary version not yet to be published - i will repost it, when the final approved version is available)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 09/14/2016 02:13 PM
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...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 09/14/2016 03:44 PM
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...

You points made me smile. I have now placed the horse back in front of the cart.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 10/12/2016 10:40 PM
They just posted a video and a bunch of pictures of their operations test on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/786325947335061504
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 10/17/2016 03:44 PM
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-announces-60m-agreement-with-york-space-systems-300345619.html

Vector Space Systems Announces $60M Agreement with York Space Systems
Quote
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 10/18/2016 08:44 PM
Vector have just published the Vector-R and -H user guides, attached.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: brickmack on 10/21/2016 10:42 PM
Their decision to have 2 separate launch vehicles seems kinda questionable. The larger one isnt that much more expensive as it is, and they could probably bring the average price down considerably by eliminating the redundant production lines for the smaller ones upper stage, interstage, and fairing.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/23/2016 07:36 AM
Vector have just published the Vector-R and -H user guides, attached.

More like a marketing brochure than a PUG - 12 pages.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 10/30/2016 06:26 PM
Jim Cantrell, CEO of Vector Space systems will be on next weeks TMRO.tv episode. Submit your questions
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/04/2016 03:25 PM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/11/04/vector-atlas/

Vector Space Systems Signs Partnership With ATLAS Space Operations
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/05/2016 05:23 PM
Going live here in a minute for interview with Jim Cantrell https://www.tmro.tv/live/

Notes :
- future business model in addition to microlaunchers
- apps on microsatellites business model, they take care of launching constellations, users can send apps as payloads ( ?? )
- a bunch of SAR satellites being one of the first big customers, about 21 launches booked .. didnt get the company name - eh its Iceye (http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/27/this-space-start-up-landed-its-first-big-customer.aspx)
- PlanetIQ weather satellites being another

- Jim dont like the term NewSpace ( thank you Jim ) , he prefers enterpreneurial space. Recognizes that space has been driven by commercial interests since forever on satellite markets

- 90ies wave of space business failed because their capital expenditures were insanely high. They are entering at far lower entry points, single digit millions

- Key for 'apps on satellites' is virtualization


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: benjaminhigginbotham on 11/06/2016 04:21 AM
For those who missed it, we have posted the full interview up now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pjKaQUzc4c (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pjKaQUzc4c)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/06/2016 08:48 PM
Am I the only one who senses a degree of perfume 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 around $4M 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 that company 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 waffle.

Plus, Jim Cantrell is on the York Space Systems advisory board, and Iceye is buying 10 of YSS's 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 tube, an "engineering model", was welded up in what looks like Jim's garage, with all his racing photos on the wall:

(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, and that usually ends up hurting everybody.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/06/2016 09:07 PM
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
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/06/2016 09:07 PM
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 where YSS supplies the SC bus and ICEYE supplies the SC payload (http://www.yorkspacesystems.com/?page_id=30). These are well into production.
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/iceye.htm

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/06/2016 10:14 PM
ICEYE is not a Cubesat or a nanosat, but an S-Class Microsat from York Space Systems

Well the S-class is 65-85kg, and the Vector-R handles 50kg, so there is another big mismatch right there...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/16/2016 08:42 PM
Vector testing aerospike engine.

https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/798991167345917952

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 11/16/2016 09:15 PM
Vector testing aerospike engine.

https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/798991167345917952
No they aren't, that's a blog post about Garvey Space's aerospike testing in the early 2000's.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/18/2016 04:05 PM
Quote
Vector 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
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/18/2016 06:04 PM
ICEYE is not a Cubesat or a nanosat, but an S-Class Microsat from York Space Systems

Well 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: RanulfC on 11/21/2016 08:55 PM
Vector testing aerospike engine.

https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/798991167345917952
No they aren't, that's a blog post about Garvey Space's aerospike testing in the early 2000's.

Uhm actually it IS Vector and it states that the testing took place through Garvey who as I understand it is PART of Vector. And yes the blog post makes it very clear it's Vector's co-founder and references his work at Garvey.
http://vectorspacesystems.com/blog/

Randy
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 11/21/2016 09:05 PM
These tests all took place long before Vector was formed, and the blog ends with the author concluding that multi-chamber aerospikes of this sort aren't currently viable.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 12/08/2016 08:18 AM
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

Nobody has said millions of people on Mars in ten years.  Nobody.

You lose all credibility your point might have had by ridiculous exaggerations like this.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 12/08/2016 08:23 AM
Quote
Vector 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

Seed funding and "angels" means that they haven't convinced a VC firm to give them their first real round of funding yet (that would be "series A", which comes after seed funding).  They're a long way off from flying anything.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 12/11/2016 06:37 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57q633mHzZ0
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/12/2016 07:27 PM
They seem to be making progress, but most of it is stuff that Garvey had in train before the re-branding I think.

Here's the list of SBIR grants, all for Garvey, not Vector:-

http://sbir.nasa.gov/content/garvey-spacecraft-corporation

http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/12/sbirselect/phase1/SBIR-12-1-S-E1.02-9091.html
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/14/sttr/phase1/STTR-14-1-T1.02-9931.html
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/11/sbir/phase1/SBIR-11-1-O2.01-8344.html
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/11/sbir/phase2/SBIR-11-2-O2.01-8344.html
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/07/sbir/phase1/SBIR-07-1-S4.01-8929.html

The first of these reveals Garvey's plans before Vector took over:

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

The technical innovation proposed here is the continued functional evolution and concept refinement of an incremental series of test vehicles that will ultimately provide dedicated, low-cost, reliable, on-demand routine space access for the emerging nano and micro satellite markets. Initial orbital operational capability for delivering 10 kg to a 250 km circular LEO is achieved with a two-stage, pressure-fed "10/250" Nanosat Launch Vehicle (NLV) that will pathfind performance, production, regulatory and operational challenges. This NLV will then be followed by a clustered "20/450" Nano/Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle (NMSLV) that addresses this topic's primary objective of providing a capability to place nano and micro satellites weighing up to 20 kg into 450 km circular LEO.
Aggressive leveraging of our team's existing NLV development initiative enables significant hardware development and the start of static fire testing during Phase I, followed by actual flight testing in Phase II for TRL-7 technology evaluations. These tests have incrementally introduced state of the art capabilities like advanced propellants (LOX/propylene) and structures (composite cryogenic tanks). The Phase I effort focuses on the development of the next class of test vehicle – a high altitude suborbital single booster stage (the "P-K") that features closed-loop thrust vector control (TVC) and candidate avionics technologies for guidance and navigation, as well as eventual autonomous flight termination systems (AFTS) for range safety, TRDRSS-based telemetry and tracking functions. In addition, it will incorporate features needed to implement the clustered first stage configuration and second stage separation method associated with the 20/450 NMSLV. The Phase II effort will then focus on the further development of an NMSLV-type first stage with two additional core boosters, for a total of three, and the conducting of a high-altitude demonstration flight.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Currently, 10/250 NLV-class test vehicles are already providing suborbital reusable launch services for NASA. The next generation of such pathfinder test vehicles developed under this program will extend the test envelope for enabling launch technologies and operations needed to effectively implement orbital NMSLV-based operations.
Longer term, the NMSLV configuration that emerges from this effort will be able to support such NASA programs like LSP's ELaNA and the Edison small satellite research initiative. These can then be followed by launch and maintenance of global monitoring systems that feature low-cost CubeSat-class spacecraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Current NLV-class test vehicles are now being used to manifest and evaluate a variety of new launch vehicle technologies, including composite cryo propellant tanks, alternative hydrocarbon fuels (methane, propane and propylene), wireless data networking, and advanced vortex engines under TRL-6 and 7 environments. The next generation of NMSLV-based test vehicles will expand these to TRL 8 and 9 conditions, while still providing secondary payload opportunities for small developers and STEM initiatives.
Longer term, the resulting operational NMSLV can support the implementation of CubeSat-based commercial earth monitoring constellations, global space weather monitoring constellations for the Air Force, and rapid response for such organizations as the Army's SMDC and DOD Special Operations Command, as well as providing dedicated launch services for the DOD Space Test Program, Operationally Responsive Launch Office and the NRO's Colony II initiative.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 12/17/2016 12:40 AM
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employees
Vector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employees

Must be very confident in funding.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/17/2016 06:14 AM
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employees
Vector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employees

Must 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 12/17/2016 07:11 AM
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employees
Vector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employees

Must 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?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/17/2016 07:38 AM
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employees
Vector Space Systems secures 25-year lease in Tucson, hiring 200 employees

Must 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?

Spacex had a guy with $100m behind it who could make those kind of financial commitments. Vector is raising small money for space and doesn't have a sugar daddy.

I don't mind truthful PR but this company is just vomiting crappy numbers and has been for months. It hurts everybody in the sector a) because more honest PR looks less impressive and b) because when it all comes crashing down the fire spreads to the innocent.

VSS is making all the classic startup mistakes of being too loud, too fast.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 12/17/2016 05:19 PM
Already bigger than SpaceX in 2006, with a pressure fed small rocket?
No, their current team is pretty small. Plans to hire about 200 over next couple years - which sounds about the bare minimum to actually start building and operate an orbital rocket that works.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/17/2016 06:52 PM
ICEYE is not a Cubesat or a nanosat, but an S-Class Microsat from York Space Systems
Well 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.

VSS 2016-11 V1.5:-

Payload

• 30 kg (75 lbm) to 450 km (243) nmi Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO)
• 50 kg / 110 lbm to 200 km / 108 nmi circular 28.5 degree inclination Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 02/17/2017 05:10 PM
"Kanematsu 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."

Not yet on Vector's Website as far as I can see. Not yet closed either.

Kanematsu Corporation expands business to small launch vehicle area - Enters into agreement to work with Vector (http://www.kanematsu.co.jp/en/press/20170203_001552.html)
Quote
February 3rd 2017

Kanematsu 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 Vector
Establishment : March in 2016
CEO : Jim Cantrell
Location : 824 E, 16th Street, Tucson AZ 85719
Business lineup: Development of launch vehicle and satellite simulation, launch service and its related services

Contact:
Public & Investor Relations Section, Kanematsu Corporation
Tel: +81-3-5440-8000
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Ragmar on 02/21/2017 12:32 PM
"Strategic investment with Vector Space Systems"

Does this read as KG is giving Vector money?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/21/2017 12:55 PM
"Strategic investment with Vector Space Systems"

Does this read as KG is giving Vector money?
Yes that's the implication. When, how much and over what period of time are other questions.

IIRC KG is quite big so provided they don't micro manage the operation this looks like it could get to launch.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/09/2017 04:11 AM
Some new images on the @vectorspacesys Twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/839298614362955776?s=09
 
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/838943456340787200?s=09

It looks more like and extension of existing Garvey work than something new. Not sure I believe they will be orbital by 2018.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Danderman on 03/09/2017 04:37 AM
http://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/vector-space-secures-25-year-lease-in-tucson-hiring-200-employees
Vector 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=09

It 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.

Yeah, everyone is a critic these days.   8)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/09/2017 05:33 AM
Attaching images.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 03/09/2017 04:59 PM
Not entirely consistent with the 200 employees news.

Their LinkedIn is not consistent with the 200 employees aspiration either, quite yet. The team is 50% founders, 50% interns right now and shows about 13 people excluding investors/advisors.  If they got the funds, probably need a better recruiter to hit the growth curve target.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 03/10/2017 12:44 AM
They have some new Twitter updates:
Quote
Vector-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/839939371075641344
Quote
Vector-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/840013429196840960

Interesting 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 03/12/2017 02:19 AM
They have some new Twitter updates:
Quote
Vector-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/839939371075641344
Quote
Vector-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/840013429196840960

Interesting 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.
So many ribs? Ribs are generally heavy and seldom used on launchers, often used on aircrafts or amateur liquid rockets, Coppenhagen suborbital etc.

No TVC gimbal between engine and structure?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Mardlamock on 03/12/2017 10:13 AM
Garvey (and by association Vector) has always seemed extremely unprofessional. Nothing against him honestly, just saying I feel he has been around and doing the same things since forever, barely improving or wanting to do anything other than put a show for the cameras.

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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/12/2017 03:08 PM
Once I was approached back in the 1980's to negotiate a deal, where the boards/discs/other of a luggable computer were simply put into a file cabinet sized rack, almost all empty.

The rationale for this was that the computer's software/performance/reliability/development was highly valued, but the customer base was used to buying big, clunky things, and they needed to have it big and clunky.

Garvey is simply delivering on what he was asked to do - make a prototype of the envisioned vehicle that will fire rapidly and reliably. Likely for investor confidence, so that then one gets the follow-on tranche of finance, so that you can modernize the tanks, skin, and engine, in that order, to have a useful next step.

So I would not run him down for what you see. Makes sense to me. But then, I deal with finance guys, big and small. And there are worse to deal with - policy makers.

It is those financing Vector who likely are the "unprofessional rocket scientists". Quite common.

If Vector gets the follow-on and doesn't execute as above, he won't get a second chance. And its substantial funds to get all that's needed to bring off those development/test/certify miracles.

So - why with Prospector didn't all these things get done? Perhaps because there was no budget for them? Duh.

Good luck to Garvey and Vector, hope they pull it off.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 03/12/2017 04:03 PM
Vector also seemed to be more focused on getting 4k helicopter footage of the engine running for 5 seconds ..
Drones are a thing now. The drone that took this video didn't cost substantially more than a decent enthusiast-level DSLR camera.
Title: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 03/14/2017 04:40 PM
The pictures seem to indicate to me that they are building a mockup, not a real rocket. But I could certainly be mistaken, but it seems like a strange way to assemble a tank.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 03/14/2017 07:27 PM
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 03/14/2017 07:30 PM
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.

Thanks, that makes more sense!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 03/14/2017 07:32 PM
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/14/2017 09:17 PM
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.

PR has it's place, but Vector has taken it to another level. Once you look behind the PR to the companies and circumstances of those companies - take a look at the size / finances of York and Iceye and tell me how they write contracts totalling tens of millions - it becomes really damaging to the industry.

All this hype makes it more diffcult for companies with more conservative plans to raise money, and eventually creates a really negative backlash from investors who get oversold on wild promises. You can already read those stories in various parts of the press. Vector may be creating a situation that bites their own behind just when they need another large funding round. Just think ahead a year or two, when the stock market crashes and people get fired because the sector got over-hyped...

3-4 companies are / were really making lots of noise from very little - Vector, the Bloostar rockoon guys, Orbital Access (spaceplane in Scotland), and maybe also I would add Firefly (RIP), although that last one is probably slightly unfiair. Rocket Lab and Virgin are paragons of modesty in comparison. I am actually starting to respect Virgin a little more than I did to be honest, they are making good progress.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/15/2017 09:03 PM
Quote
Vector-R p19h and Vector-H prototypes nearing completion and getting ready for launch very soon... stay tuned for more news!

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/842125392257277952 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/842125392257277952)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 03/16/2017 12:07 AM
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)...
Not that i disagree with any of that, but i think the bar is actually a tad lower: a nanosat launcher that actually flies. Just getting to space, nevermind to orbit, would be enough of a milestone to secure reasonable funding, that would carry you from development to operations phase.
Actually flying also tightens the uncertainties around eventual operational costs way more than any financial modeling genius can.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/21/2017 06:55 PM
Quote
Vector Space Systems on Saturday to erect Vector-R at Space Florida's LC46, announce "intention to use the launch facilities in the future."

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/844274247811940352 (https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/844274247811940352)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/21/2017 10:31 PM
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/23/2017 08:53 AM
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.

Here's the link http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systems (http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systems)

First test flight planned for first week of April!

Edit: focus for 2017 is suborbital flights; orbital 2018
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 03/23/2017 09:58 AM
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.

Here's the link http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systems (http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systems)

First test flight planned for first week of April!

Edit: focus for 2017 is suborbital flights; orbital 2018

Step 1. Steal underpantsSuborbital flights
Step 2. ?
Step 3. ProfitOrbital flights

I don't see any problem with that plan.  It's not like there's some enormous gap between steps 1 and 3, is there?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 03/23/2017 10:04 AM
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.

In this day and age, is there really any doubt about the aero shape performance of something that looks like dozens of different missiles with extensive flight history?

This seems more like PR to me than anything that's actually engineering-driven.  And it's PR you don't see any of the other small launcher start-ups doing.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/23/2017 12:37 PM
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.

Here's the link http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systems (http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/19-mar-2017/broadcast-2885-jim-cantrell-vector-space-systems)

First test flight planned for first week of April!

Edit: focus for 2017 is suborbital flights; orbital 2018

Lots of blowharding, no way they are orbital by 2018.

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....
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: su27k on 03/24/2017 01:49 PM
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....

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...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Ragmar on 03/24/2017 02:09 PM
Relativity Space?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/24/2017 04:41 PM
MEDIA ADVISORY

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to Accept Delivery of
Vector-R Rocket

Monday, March 27

WHAT:                      Capture the arrival of the Vector-R launch vehicle to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Monday, March 27. The rocket will be on display prior to its installation at the NASA Now exhibit.

NASA Now tells the evolving story of the future of space exploration, immersing guests in the science of current missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and upcoming missions to explore deep space. In 2018, Kennedy Space Center will once again launch astronauts into space. See test versions of the spacecraft created for the Commercial Crew Program and Space Launch System (SLS), the future transportation of NASA’s deep space exploration and journey to Mars.

The Vector-R launch vehicle will be the first ever commercial space rocket featured and the first representation of its creator, Vector, at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, when it goes on display this spring. Vector is a company that connects space startups and innovators with affordable and reliable space access. 

WHO:                         Spokespeople representing Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Vector and will be available for interviews, including Jim Cantrell, chief executive officer and co-founder of Vector

WHEN:                      Monday, March 27

11 a.m.            Media arrival begins

                        Photo opportunity with Vector begins (outside of IMAX west side)

11:45 a.m.       Raising of Vector rocket

1 p.m.              Photo opportunity concludes

WHERE:                   Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Outside of IMAX Theater adjacent to the Rocket Garden
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/24/2017 10:35 PM
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....

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...
I guess my point was it's easy to say "I know everything but I can't tell you what I know", but the only verifiable fact is that everybody knows everything about what Vector are doing.

Stealth: maybe he knows nothing - he dropped his (negative) views on pretty much everybody with a direct name check so why not name them if he knows something? Or maybe they are direct competitors and he doesn't want them to have any publicity? Relativity Space is deliberately stealthy, are they building small rockets that challenge his view that he is the only guy who can build 100,000 rockets a day?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/25/2017 12:14 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845620630330523648 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845620630330523648)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/25/2017 02:19 PM
Quote
Vector CEO @jamesncantrell and co-founder & CTO John Garvey at LC-46 @SpaceFlorida stay tuned for news conference.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845641590504853504 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845641590504853504)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/25/2017 02:23 PM
Quote
"Who needs complex launch infrastructure? We bring our own!" Sincerely, The Vector-R

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845644232887058432 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845644232887058432)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 03/25/2017 04:28 PM
"Who needs complex launch infrastructure? We bring our own!" Sincerely, The Vector-R

Interesting (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/70/1)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/25/2017 05:18 PM
Yeah, basically a repeat of SpaceX's showy tactics in early company history. Worked out for them, though.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 03/25/2017 05:50 PM
Yeah, basically a repeat of SpaceX's showy tactics in early company history. Worked out for them, though.

Very similar, on multiple counts. There was a dog and pony show of dragging Falcon 1 shell to DC and erect it somewhere at some point, also quite a bit of boasting about how the launch control room and team fit in a truck trailer.
The only thing Vector still needs to emulate is picking a remote tropical location for initial orbital attempts. Alaska wont bring the viewers.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/25/2017 09:02 PM
Report on today's announcement:

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/03/25/vector-may-build-launch-rockets-space-coast/99555252/ (http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/03/25/vector-may-build-launch-rockets-space-coast/99555252/)

VSS' tweet:

Quote
Vector CEO @jamesncantrell announcing we will launch out of LC-46 starting in 2018 & exploring building mfg integration facilities in FL

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845658710718468101 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/845658710718468101)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: catdlr on 03/29/2017 02:16 AM
Vector Space Systems Brings Vector-R Rocket To Kennedy Space Center

Matthew Travis

Published on Mar 28, 2017
Vector Space Systems Brings Vector-R Rocket To Kennedy Space Center. Includes video of Vector-R raising to vertical and questions & answer with Vector CEO Jim Cantrell.

Video Credit: Matthew Travis / Zero-G News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlY09YT7Pyo?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlY09YT7Pyo
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: catdlr on 03/29/2017 02:18 AM
Vector Space Vector-R Arrives at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, March 27-28, 2017
 
SpaceKSCBlog

Published on Mar 28, 2017
On March 27, 2017, a test article version of the Vector Space Vector-R rocket arrived at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This video shows the arrival, and then next day its display in the IMAX theater.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxRDUHjvEM?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxRDUHjvEM
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/29/2017 06:39 AM
Truly amazing the attention they draw on themselves for what is basically an empty aluminum tube...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 03/30/2017 01:06 AM
Truly amazing the attention they draw on themselves for what is basically an empty aluminum tube...

Ah, but you must admit it's a very impressive (and nicely painted) empty aluminium tube..
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/02/2017 08:06 PM
Quote
Rocket Mechanics @vectorspacesys  getting Block 0.1 vehicle ready to ship out Monday. Stay tuned for flight #space

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/848624731221667840 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/848624731221667840)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/02/2017 09:47 PM
First launch Thursday: http://linkis.com/com/I1Qya (http://linkis.com/com/I1Qya)

Here's just part of above page, describing Block 0 and first launch.

Quote
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 !
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: brickmack on 04/03/2017 01:09 AM
Quote
the full scale Block 1 airframe (made from aluminum instead of carbon fiber to conserve money)

Sooo.... it has zero commonality with the block 1 airframe. Great choice of words there
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/03/2017 05:53 PM
Scud (SS-1, R-11), which has been used as the basis of an orbital launch vehicle, did the same about fifty years ago. It was a mobile variant inspired by the German V-2.

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".

Professionally you call it a "baseline". Then, you "gradatim ferociter" ... right?

Now, Musk took a empty shell Falcon 9 1.0 and set it up at LC-40 over six years ago.

Didn't care then for the same put downs, nor for the mocking the greeted every Falcon 1 launch as they got their vehicle to work for them, a hard slog.  Bezos got mocked over BE1 being a joke, and ridiculed over a test flight failure (Secretive Private Spaceship Builder Reports Rocket Failure (http://www.space.com/12824-blue-origin-private-spaceship-rocket-failure.html)).

Small firms likely won't make in on almost any program they'll try, as funding is always too dear. They always have too few tries to bring things off to begin with. Ask Musk.

And, like academia, many run down others because they compete for funding, because the stakes are so low ...

I see stuff in this thread that isn't "be excellent to others".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/03/2017 06:02 PM
This launch will test engine and lot of critical systems. Prove these work and it will be lot easier to source funding for production version.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 04/03/2017 10:49 PM
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/04/2017 12:41 AM
With so many small-launch start-ups these days, there's a lot of competition for investor dollars, and a lot of other companies for investors to compare a company to when doing due diligence.  That's a good thing.  It makes the start-ups up their game and gives more choices to investors.  It should improve the odds that at least one or two of the latest crop of start-ups makes it.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 04/04/2017 01:23 AM
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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2017 01:40 AM
..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.

I don't think that's true. For a start, Musk isn't an investor in SpaceX...

investor (n) a person or organization that puts money into financial schemes, property, etc. with the expectation of achieving a profit.

Elon specifically said his expectation was to fail, so even the broadest definition of "profit" wouldn't apply.

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.

Investors are neither gamblers nor partners. They're investors.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/04/2017 04:19 AM
I man, dang. If Rocketlabs can be worth a billion without launching, maybe Vector has a chance.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2017 04:52 AM
I 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/04/2017 05:05 AM
I 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2017 05:37 AM
Except SpaceX had launched and recovered Dragon before they were worth a billion.

Sure, and they also weren't accepting new investors without a fight. I mean, it took Google to break that egg!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 04/04/2017 04:25 PM
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".

I disagree with your assessment.

The noises from this company invite ardent self-praise, but in fact deserve closer, critical inspection, because their misleading claims hurt everyone.

Just today Vector sent an email that purported to be independent analysis and placed themselves in the same category at Rocket Lab, without mentioning any other company. Here's a quote:-

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.

Wait: Vector is -dominating- the sector? Not a word about Virgin Orbit, who have contracts, engines, cash, a 747, an actual partnership with OneWeb? Vector is a -peer- of Rocket Lab, who have raised $150m and just today showed the actual vehicle on the pad?

It is offensive to read this horse****, and it needs to be called out. It is disrespectful to those making genuine progress - and there are several out there - to make claims that are largely based on thin, hot air. An honest company doesn't look so impressive when compared to these claims, and therefore doesn't get an investment; or they are forced to fight fire with fire and reach for the BS lever as well, which makes the entire sector look shady.

There are a range of examples over the past weeks and months. Vector has announced contracts for > $120 million, one of them for $60m placed by 5-man startup with minimal funding; they publish launch specifications like those above, which walk a fine line between fact and fiction; they publicize photos of empty tubes spewing LOX boiloff that are claimed to be "refuelling tests"; don't even get me started on the Pima County business plan fiasco.

Don't complain about a lack of cash if that is what you want to encourage as normal ethical behavior in the sector. Supporting it leads to the current moral rot infesting our government, because it enables the erosion of truth. And truth is something we should value more.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/04/2017 07:28 PM
To dominate a launch market a company needs to be launching payloads. Which counts out VG, RL and Vector.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 04/04/2017 07:45 PM
What's the target altitude for this flight? Can't be higher than 30,000ft with such a big OML and small tanks. Looks awfully heavy as well.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 04/04/2017 07:46 PM
Here's the Vector email Ringsider was talking about;
Quote
StratSpace [email protected]

to me

The Brave New World Of Space Launch
2017 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 (http://www.stratspace.net/forecasting)***

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 2020

The 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 [email protected] !

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]
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 04/04/2017 09:35 PM
FWIW, 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".

Quote
In 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2017 09:42 PM
The standard fair for tech startups is to talk about their long term vision while being cagey about just how shoddy their existing development is... I'll certainly give you that. Completely false claims cross the line though.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/04/2017 10:20 PM
FWIW, 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".

Since I know of three people from the 1980's Sand Hill Road vintage who are "on" here, I'd very much doubt that.

Myself,  first Series A done was 1982 following work done on Shuttle's ALT tests. And Vinod knows me - was in his office about two months back. Knew him from Daisy Systems.

Quote
Quote
In 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.

Even the most accomplished VC's for the space sector, in DFJ and Founders Fund, have limited coverage and rely on part time staff to "quick look" deals. One of them is an ex-LM guy who'd rather reposition himself into healthcare so he can get a piece of a positive revenue growth deal so he can ascend in the organization before he gets washed out.

The story of the example is due to "button holing" contacts and getting temporary buy-in to put significant earnest money in upfront, under the assumed condition it isn't to be spent, as a means to get more on board for the right valuation, so that then the deal might go forward. These arrangements frequently blow up and sometimes get put back together.

VC's have many different processes to deal with DD and going forward. Some are like what caused people to by in to that idi.ot Palmer Lucky to the tune of several billion, with expected incomplete DD liabilities even larger.

Wouldn't be surprised if Vector has angel monies. It would work, given the Garvey Space collateral, which I *have* assessed from the past. Garvey did do some DD for Musk IIRC.

Quote
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.
Indeed. But that's how Vinod works. Not all VC. And Vinod has a penchant for being "brutal" ... as Rocket Labs might find in six months time.

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".

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" .

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.

Which ostensibly a senior VC investment talent should already know ... without me having to say ... because it is implicit.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/05/2017 12:21 AM
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" .

Of course it's our place to judge these firms.  That's what a discussion forum is all about.

I'm free to offer my opinion.  You're free to offer yours.  Readers are free to decide which they believe or remain undecided.

What I do think is not right on this forum is to put down other people for offering their opinions, which, to me, it seems you are doing by telling them it's not our place to judge these firms.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2017 05:32 AM
Quote
@vectorspacesys Vector-R Block 0.1 ready to launch.  Stay tuned ! #Space #SpaceX #CubeSat

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/849455672282554368 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/849455672282554368)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 04/05/2017 05:47 AM
<SNIP>
Now, apart from this dick measuring contest, perhaps there is an agenda here.

I'm not measuring anything. I'm explaining my rationale. Yours just seems to be "It's not fair to make rational comments based on facts."

Quote
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".

I present facts, you present baseless, snide insinuations. The truth is I just think what Vector is doing stinks.

Maybe you have an agenda in asking people to soft soap the horse manure they are spreading across the farm?
 
Quote
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" .

I have judged them as to whether they are honest or not. It's really interesting you won't say they are wrong, in fact quite the opposite - almost like you have a vested interest...

Quote
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, and I think you are irresponsible to support their ethically questionable approach.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/05/2017 05:57 AM
Vector is a problem in the making..
There aren't many teams around that can get a rocket on the pad. Any rocket. So maybe just dial back the sniping a bit and see where they go.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2017 01:51 PM
Vector have released a notice of intent (NOI) to solicit bids to build its new manufacturing facility in Tucson, Arizona: https://vectorspacesystems.com/notice-intent-noi/ (https://vectorspacesystems.com/notice-intent-noi/)

Earliest estimated start date for chosen contractor is June 19, 2017.

Some example details from the NOI on the facility:

Quote
General Description:

Main purpose is the use for aerospace component, sub-systems and systems manufacturing, test and integration
Facility produces “small launch vehicles” (up to 60’ length)
Final integration is horizontal (no high bay areas required)
[...]

Building Assumptions:

[...]
Mfg floor space, sqft approx.: 56,000
Corporate offices, Eng, Sales, sqft approx.: 20,000
[...]
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2017 11:59 PM
This tweet is just over an hour old:

Quote
Vector-R ready to go... t-minus 17hrs

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/849756879358054400 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/849756879358054400)

There's a brief video with the tweet of the rocket and launch site.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/06/2017 02:59 PM
17h just about over.. no signs on Twitter yet
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Jarnis on 04/06/2017 04:13 PM
"Vector-R first launch ready to go t-minus ~20mins 5 drones ready to capture the action"

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/850014385313464320

(that was 15min ago)

Doesn't look like there will be a live stream.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/06/2017 04:28 PM
Slight delay announced
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 05:12 PM
About 13 mins ago:

Quote
@vectorspacesys team ready for launch this morning.  We are at T-50 minutes #space

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850030086547849216 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850030086547849216)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 04/06/2017 05:37 PM
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

Hopefully we'll see a launch today.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 04/06/2017 05:44 PM
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

Hopefully we'll see a launch today.

Trying to get more coverage probably. And yes it is weird.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 05:58 PM
Quote
Fueling is complete .... restarting countdown clock

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850044401820749824 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850044401820749824)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 06:14 PM
Quote
Launch abort ...main engine valve issue.  Recycling countdown thirty to 60 minutes

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850048689817083904 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850048689817083904)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 06:29 PM
Quote
Scrub for today.  Retry tomorrow

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850051573493276672 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850051573493276672)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 06:58 PM
Weather issues:

Quote
@vectorspacesys vehicle post pad abort.  Winds picked up just now to beyond range limits from incoming storm. Possible retry next week

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850059447514808320 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/850059447514808320)

Edit to add:

Quote
Automated pad abort vehicle fine issue being investigated wind too high & storm coming will attempt again at the earliest next week

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/850063615054856192 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/850063615054856192)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 08:46 PM
Quote
She lives to fly another day. Will update once data is analyzed on the auto abort reason and date for next scheduled attempt.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/850077996345991169 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/850077996345991169)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/06/2017 08:59 PM
The tiny size of the engine nozzle compared to the diameter of the rocket body makes it look very strange.  Even if we didn't already know the body was mostly empty, this would give it away.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/06/2017 09:15 PM
I would guess they're using the #SpaceX hashtage because they want more people to see their tweets, and lots of people already are interested in SpaceX, so they can increase their audience by doing this.  This seems pretty slimy to me, because the tweets aren't really about SpaceX at all.  That would, to me, seem like an abuse of the hashtag to help themselves at the expensive of spamming people who are interested in SpaceX.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 04/07/2017 10:11 AM
Vector-R has three 25 000 lb engines on the first stage. This rocket only has one.
So this is a scaled down Vector-R. An most likely only the first stage.
I guess they are flight testing the aerodynamics of the Vector-R with this launch.

edit: That's why they call it Vector-R Block 0.1. Block 1 is most likely the full launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/07/2017 10:51 AM
I 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.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 04/09/2017 03:08 AM
I 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.
Or worse:  incapable of testing with full scale propulsion and simple "boiler plate" tanks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/20/2017 06:27 AM
Vector close $4.5M funding bridging round:

http://www.bizjournals.com.ln.is/7k1id (http://www.bizjournals.com.ln.is/7k1id)

Article says 'next' test flight is May.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/20/2017 08:20 AM
Vector close $4.5M funding bridging round:

http://www.bizjournals.com.ln.is/7k1id (http://www.bizjournals.com.ln.is/7k1id)

Article says 'next' test flight is May.

Well, that's pretty good confirmation that the show they put on recently was never really about testing anything.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 04/20/2017 06:59 PM
Money is one of the best propellants around. Godspeed.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/22/2017 08:27 PM
Quote
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

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/855873061240700928 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/855873061240700928)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: deruch on 04/25/2017 06:37 AM
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

Hopefully we'll see a launch today.
Prescient tweet, predicting the fact that they were going to miss their launch date (a common complaint against #SpaceX)?   ;D 

Yeah.  That's weird.  Funny, but weird.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/27/2017 05:39 AM
Quote
T-minus 7 days..this is our first mission patch :) Plan is 100+ launches/yr & a patch each. Audience participation on future patch ideas?

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/857405592855379968 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/857405592855379968)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/27/2017 06:30 AM
Well, for a patch idea, this is what I think of when I hear "Vector" and "rocket" in the same sentence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS9CltDTp_M
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/01/2017 07:08 PM
PROPOSAL NUMBER:    171 Z9.01-9204
SUBTOPIC TITLE:    Small Launch Vehicle Technologies and Demonstrations
PROPOSAL TITLE:    Flight Demonstration of a Micropump-based Stage Pressurization System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vector Launch Inc.
824 E. 16th Street
Tucson, AZ 85719 - 6603
(520) 207-9734

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christopher Bostwick
[email protected]
10539 Humbolt St.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720 - 5401
(661) 547-9779

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Carole Leon
[email protected]
824 E. 16th Street
Tucson, AZ 85719 - 6603
(888) 346-7778 Extension :27

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Small Launch Vehicle Technologies and Demonstrations is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Vector Launch, Inc. proposes to apply recent advances in micropump and additive manufacturing technologies to develop and demonstrate a micropump-based autogenous pressurization system for its commercial Vector-R first stage and mature the technology with multiple static-fire-tests leading to a demonstration flight test (TRL 6). The Vector-R is a 2-stage pressure-fed, LOX/subcooled propylene commercial small launch vehicle, designed to place up to 60 kg in low earth orbit. In the proposed concept, electrically-driven micropumps drive a small portion of each propellant over a heat exchanger at the engine to pressurize the tanks. Excess flow can be diverted to the engine as needed.

This approach reduces system mass, complexity and acquisition cost as well as operational costs. It eliminates the need for all high-pressure tanks and associated components. It can be used on any pressure-fed stage, for launch vehicle and in-space application when using high vapor pressure propellants such as LOX/methane or LOX/propane. As such, it is an enabler for missions targeted to use in-situ propellants since the need for a separate pressurant like helium is either greatly reduced or eliminated.

By leveraging Vector's ongoing Vector-R micro-launcher development, it is possible to reach TRL 6 with demonstration flight testing during Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology offers the means of drastically reducing the mass, complexity and cost of pressure-fed propulsion stages employing high vapor pressure propellants like LOX, methane, propylene and propane. The reductions in costs apply to both acquisition and operational costs of propulsive stages since the proposed system is simpler and lighter.

Applications include small launch vehicle stages where turbo-pumps are inefficient and cost-prohibitive. For Vector, the immediate application of the technology which could benefit NASA is the Vector-R launch vehicle. This vehicle is designed to provide dedicated launch services to nanosats up to 60 kg, with planned operations starting in 2018. Candidate small spacecraft which could benefit from dedicated launch services or reduced launch costs provided by the technology include numerous CubeSats and nanosats in development at NASA or funded by NASA, such as NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative and Educational Launch of Nanosatellites.

Other longer term potential applications include future missions to Mars and other bodies which use pressure-fed systems, whether directly or in conjunction with pump-fed engines. For Mars ascent, this technology is particularly attractive when using in-situ propellants since it eliminates the need for a pressurant like helium. The application of this technology for Mars missions is likely to be years away.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With the Vector-R micro-launcher, Vector is positioning itself to provide responsive, dedicated launch to the micro- and nanosat market expected to burgeon in the next few years. Candidate small spacecraft which could benefit from dedicated services or reduced launch costs provided by the technology include commercial entities operating constellations, such Planets (formerly known as Planet Labs) and Google's Terra Bella (formerly known as Skybox Imaging), as well as numerous other CubeSats and nanosats development efforts funded NSF, the Air Force, ORS and SMDC. Aggregators such as Spaceflight Industries would also benefit of the availability of dedicated, responsive launch for their numerous customers, particularly those targeting specific orbits or mission timelines.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Conversion
Fuels/Propellants
Heat Exchange
Launch Engine/Booster
Spacecraft Main Engine
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/01/2017 11:03 PM
Wonder where they'd put a heat exchanger in their ablative composite engine.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/02/2017 05:46 AM
Approximate time for tomorrow's launch (I assume local time?):

Quote
Tminus soon... (wed ~10am)...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859273833324331008 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859273833324331008)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/02/2017 08:10 PM
Quote
Vector and Citrix to Bring Virtualization Software Technology to Micro Satellites
Vector and Citrix will work together to enable Vector GalacticSky virtualization platform for space entrepreneurs, innovators

TUCSON, Ariz., May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced that it will join forces with Citrix to bring advanced datacenter and cloud virtualization technology into space for the first time through the development of a software defined satellite platform with Vector's GalacticSky solution.  Citrix and Vector will work together to enhance Citrix XenServer for space use and validate Vector's GalacticOS, a purpose built satellite app operating system that enables entrepreneurs to easily develop space based applications.

"The commercial space industry is booming and with so many new opportunities and capabilities available to entrepreneurs, our GalacticSky solution is well positioned to help innovators achieve their dreams of reaching the Final Frontier," said Shaun Coleman, General Manager & Senior VP, GalacticSky of Vector. "Integrating payload software into a completely virtualized satellites alongside Citrix, allows us to cut down mission implementation from years to days, and furthers Vector's vision of lowering the barriers of space access."

The GalacticSky software defined satellite solution from Vector will enable space application developers to build, test and simulate their applications without the need to build or launch a satellite. Using on orbit resources that can be dynamically configured, space entrepreneurs can test out ideas in near real-time without the cost or time required to launch a satellite. Utilizing Citrix XenServer, a comprehensive cloud proven server virtualization platform, GalacticSky will reduce the burden of developing and launching space hardware by removing this component altogether, revolutionizing the way innovators and entrepreneurs develop solutions for space.

"At Citrix, we believe in transformation through innovation, and through this collaboration with Vector we see our technology paving the way for future entrepreneurs in space for years to come. This is an example of how Citrix continues to help developers embrace the future of work, and reimagine how work gets done," said Calvin Hsu, vice president, product marketing, Citrix.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-and-citrix-to-bring-virtualization-software-technology-to-micro-satellites-300448497.html (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-and-citrix-to-bring-virtualization-software-technology-to-micro-satellites-300448497.html)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 04:15 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 5m5 minutes ago

Tminus 1hr

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859802016243007489 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859802016243007489)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 05:01 PM
Quote
Launch control ready to go... tminus ~45mins

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859813478390837250 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859813478390837250)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 05:27 PM
About 13 mins ago:

Quote
LOX loading... tminus ~20-30min

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859818403682426880 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859818403682426880)

Another tweet confirms no livestream for this launch.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 05:29 PM
Quote
LOX loading complete...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859819226999046144 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859819226999046144)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 05:36 PM
Quote
T minus 15 minutes for @vectorspacesys Vector-R block 0.1 launch.  Stay tuned

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859823681924550656 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859823681924550656)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LastStarFighter on 05/03/2017 05:42 PM
So this appears to be a 1 engine version of the Vector R with a boiler plate upper stage?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 05:43 PM
Quote
Fuel loading complete...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859824386575966208 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859824386575966208)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/03/2017 05:48 PM
So this appears to be a 1 engine version of the Vector R with a boiler plate upper stage?

Yes.  It's not really very representative of their actual launch vehicle design.  They seem to be in a hurry to fly something -- anything.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 05:50 PM
Quote
Terminal count t minus 3 minutes.  Photo of @vectorspacesys JAFO observation area

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859826780563062785 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859826780563062785)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 06:00 PM
Quote
Countdown on hold at t minus two minutes while we address a minor issue on the vehicle @vectorspacesys

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859829529237372928 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859829529237372928)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/03/2017 06:01 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 2m2 minutes ago

Launch hold minor lox leak assessing the issue

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859829600011960320
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LastStarFighter on 05/03/2017 06:06 PM
So this appears to be a 1 engine version of the Vector R with a boiler plate upper stage?

Yes.  It's not really very representative of their actual launch vehicle design.  They seem to be in a hurry to fly something -- anything.

It looks like it's actual sized though right? So just a partially filled first stage.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/03/2017 06:09 PM
So this appears to be a 1 engine version of the Vector R with a boiler plate upper stage?

Yes.  It's not really very representative of their actual launch vehicle design.  They seem to be in a hurry to fly something -- anything.

It looks like it's actual sized though right? So just a partially filled first stage.

My understanding is that it's not even a real first stage.  I believe it has small tanks, not full-sized first-stage tanks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 06:10 PM
Quote
Topping off LOX...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859831207567048704 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859831207567048704)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: JH on 05/03/2017 06:13 PM
It looks like it's actual sized though right? So just a partially filled first stage.

It also isn't constructed in the same manner as the final intended design. Metal ribs in the vehicle on the stand, whereas the final product is supposed to be made from carbon fiber.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 06:24 PM
Quote
Addressing the issue...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859835573313208320 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859835573313208320)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 05/03/2017 06:25 PM
So this appears to be a 1 engine version of the Vector R with a boiler plate upper stage?

Yes.  It's not really very representative of their actual launch vehicle design.  They seem to be in a hurry to fly something -- anything.

It looks like it's actual sized though right? So just a partially filled first stage.

It is a full size vehicle, but the tanks are much smaller (and thus lighter) than the "real" version. Think of it as a full size mock-up with a very small propellant tank.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 06:38 PM
Quote
Countdown still on hold at t minus two minutes.  Reloading propellants @vectorspacesys

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859838644130938880 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859838644130938880)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 06:52 PM
Quote
Fuel reloading is complete and countdown to resume @vectorspacesys

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859842553838936064 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859842553838936064)

Quote
Tminus ~10min

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859842677017264128 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859842677017264128)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 07:01 PM
Quote
Igniters armed

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859844655348711424 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859844655348711424)

Quote
Countdown resuming at t minus five Minutes @vectorspacesys pad is clear of personnel

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859844933594750976 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859844933594750976)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 07:05 PM
Quote
BREAKING NEWS ... @vectorspacesys completes first test flight, at Mojave CA.

https://twitter.com/spacekscblog/status/859846146012983296 (https://twitter.com/spacekscblog/status/859846146012983296)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 07:07 PM
Quote
Sweet success @vectorspacesys !!!!!

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859846383158689792 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859846383158689792)

Edit: added video
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 07:11 PM
Quote
Initial report of successful launch, but parachute collapsed after deployment.

https://twitter.com/spacekscblog/status/859846549395972096 (https://twitter.com/spacekscblog/status/859846549395972096)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/03/2017 07:37 PM
Quote
Initial report of successful launch, but parachute collapsed after deployment.

https://twitter.com/spacekscblog/status/859846549395972096 (https://twitter.com/spacekscblog/status/859846549395972096)

This Tweet appears to have been deleted.  Can't say why, but I have a few guesses.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/03/2017 07:43 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 13m13 minutes ago

'flight patches' survived (flew the whole ride)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/03/2017 07:46 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 07:56 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

No stats appear to have been released yet.

Any way, I must congratulate Vector on what looks like a successful launch. Hopefully this will herald small sat launches in the not too distant future, after years of people saying it was about to happen!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 08:02 PM
Brief report of the launch and some background:

http://spaceref.biz/company/vector-completes-successful-flight-test-of-vector-r-launch-vehicle.html (http://spaceref.biz/company/vector-completes-successful-flight-test-of-vector-r-launch-vehicle.html)

Also attached picture.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/03/2017 08:03 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

No stats appear to have been released yet.

Any way, I must congratulate Vector on what looks like a successful launch. Hopefully this will herald small sat launches in the not too distant future, after years of people saying it was about to happen!

Except it's not a small sat launch vehicle that they launched... They launched a high powered rocket.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-power_rocketry


Even unis have had better flights than what was just demonstrated.

https://viterbischool.usc.edu/news/2017/03/usc-rocket-propulsion-laboratory-breaks-record/

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 08:39 PM
Except it's not a small sat launch vehicle that they launched...

I know.

But it's nice to see any small sat launch company actually fly anything! Also even as just a first step for Vector I imagine they can retire quite a lot of risk.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 08:44 PM
Quote
Just now reviewing drone footage of launch.  One drone caught an unbelievable sequence - will post shortly

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859870156444491776 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/859870156444491776)  8)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/03/2017 08:52 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

Using rough, conservative estimates (frame-by-frame analysis puts upwards acceleration of the test vehicle at at least 8.5m/s^2, probably more like 9.5), I'd say an apogee of 2000 feet would involve burnout at around T+8 seconds.  Burnout at T+15 seconds could get them to a mile or so.  Depends on how quickly that engine was gobbling up propellant - and how wildly inaccurate my guesses about the vehicle's aerodynamics are.

Hopefully we'll get more video/numbers soon.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/03/2017 08:56 PM
Except it's not a small sat launch vehicle that they launched...

I know.

But it's nice to see any small sat launch company actually fly anything! Also even as just a first step for Vector I imagine they can retire quite a lot of risk.

Except getting something off the ground is trivial compared to actually making an orbital class launch vehicle... and the rest of the infrastructure required to operate an orbital class launch vehicle.

Launch vehicles aren't just rocket engines with tanks attached to them. If you want to know if your engine works, you do a hot fire, or a static fire.

The biggest reason why I may seem sour is because how much of a big fuss they are making about this, and the claims being made. Honestly, I am WAY more impressed by USC than Vector.

If they were going to do a suborbital flight test, they should have done a proper one like Firefly Space Systems was planning on doing. Full up launch vehicle suborbital test rather than a useless launch like this.

This is just noise to me.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/03/2017 08:57 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

Using rough, conservative estimates (frame-by-frame analysis puts upwards acceleration of the test vehicle at at least 8.5m/s^2, probably more like 9.5), I'd say an apogee of 2000 feet would involve burnout at around T+8 seconds.  Burnout at T+15 seconds could get them to a mile or so.  Depends on how quickly that engine was gobbling up propellant - and how wildly inaccurate my guesses about the vehicle's aerodynamics are.

Hopefully we'll get more video/numbers soon.

Based on the numbers they give, roughly 19lb/s


edit: Based on the drone footage, the burn time may have been roughly 8-9 seconds.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 08:57 PM
Here we go:

Quote
Vector-R B0.1 ..... just passing through the neighborhood ! #SPACE #NASA

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859872571159789568 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/859872571159789568)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/03/2017 09:11 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

Using rough, conservative estimates (frame-by-frame analysis puts upwards acceleration of the test vehicle at at least 8.5m/s^2, probably more like 9.5), I'd say an apogee of 2000 feet would involve burnout at around T+8 seconds.  Burnout at T+15 seconds could get them to a mile or so.  Depends on how quickly that engine was gobbling up propellant - and how wildly inaccurate my guesses about the vehicle's aerodynamics are.

Hopefully we'll get more video/numbers soon.

Based on the numbers they give, roughly 19lb/s


edit: Based on the drone footage, the burn time may have been roughly 8-9 seconds.

It's hard to tell the exact dimensions of the tanks we've seen pictured during construction, but a pair of 100L tanks (not sure why their LOX and Propylene tanks are the same size, Propylene has half the density and the engine should be running fuel-rich, but they look the same in the picture) would just about hit that 8-9 second mark.

EDIT: What I find weird is that even though the rocket has no discernible method of attitude control - the fins appear to be bolted-on and the engine, as far as we can tell, has no TVC - it still managed to yaw a good 5 degrees after leaving the tower.  I was expecting it to fly a bit straighter, but maybe I've missed something.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/03/2017 09:21 PM
Write-up by Eric Berger:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/vector-barrels-ahead-with-its-small-satellite-launcher/ (https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/vector-barrels-ahead-with-its-small-satellite-launcher/)

Couple of key passages IMHO:

Quote
Cantrell told Ars that the goal of Wednesday’s flight was to test the rocket’s avionics and software, as well as monitor the first stage engine in flight. Future prototypes will test thrust vector control and other systems needed for orbital launches.

Quote
Cantrell said Vector is in the process of closing a second series of financing that will raise an additional $15 to $20 million.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/03/2017 09:38 PM
What's the altitude? At the acceleration that thing was going at, and the size of the tanks can't be more than 2000ft.

Using rough, conservative estimates (frame-by-frame analysis puts upwards acceleration of the test vehicle at at least 8.5m/s^2, probably more like 9.5), I'd say an apogee of 2000 feet would involve burnout at around T+8 seconds.  Burnout at T+15 seconds could get them to a mile or so.  Depends on how quickly that engine was gobbling up propellant - and how wildly inaccurate my guesses about the vehicle's aerodynamics are.

Hopefully we'll get more video/numbers soon.

Based on the numbers they give, roughly 19lb/s


edit: Based on the drone footage, the burn time may have been roughly 8-9 seconds.

EDIT: What I find weird is that even though the rocket has no discernible method of attitude control - the fins appear to be bolted-on and the engine, as far as we can tell, has no TVC - it still managed to yaw a good 5 degrees after leaving the tower.  I was expecting it to fly a bit straighter, but maybe I've missed something.

The velocity at the moment of leaving the tower was not high enough to keep it stable using the fins. High power rocketry 101. At least they knew to keep the tanks all the way upfront.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 05/03/2017 10:01 PM
The rocket was scheduled to reach an altitude of 4,500 feet (1,370 meters). 

http://www.space.com/36710-vector-space-test-launch-success.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FishInferno on 05/03/2017 10:19 PM
The velocity at the moment of leaving the tower was not high enough to keep it stable using the fins. High power rocketry 101. At least they knew to keep the tanks all the way upfront.

Could this indicate that the engine performance was not as high as expected?  I seriously doubt that Vector's engineers would fail to notice the inherent instability of a design like this.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/03/2017 10:29 PM
The velocity at the moment of leaving the tower was not high enough to keep it stable using the fins. High power rocketry 101. At least they knew to keep the tanks all the way upfront.

Could this indicate that the engine performance was not as high as expected?  I seriously doubt that Vector's engineers would fail to notice the inherent instability of a design like this.

Who says they failed to notice?

This is just a mock-up.  The real launch vehicle will have some method of active control, surely.  For this launch of the mock-up, it just doesn't matter that it's unstable.  It's only going up a few thousand feet.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/03/2017 10:34 PM
The velocity at the moment of leaving the tower was not high enough to keep it stable using the fins. High power rocketry 101. At least they knew to keep the tanks all the way upfront.

Could this indicate that the engine performance was not as high as expected?  I seriously doubt that Vector's engineers would fail to notice the inherent instability of a design like this.

Who says they failed to notice?

This is just a mock-up.  The real launch vehicle will have some method of active control, surely.  For this launch of the mock-up, it just doesn't matter that it's unstable.  It's only going up a few thousand feet.

True, it only moves a few hundred feet downrange, which is an advisable safety perimeter anyways.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/03/2017 10:44 PM
The velocity at the moment of leaving the tower was not high enough to keep it stable using the fins. High power rocketry 101. At least they knew to keep the tanks all the way upfront.

Could this indicate that the engine performance was not as high as expected?  I seriously doubt that Vector's engineers would fail to notice the inherent instability of a design like this.

Who says they failed to notice?

This is just a mock-up.  The real launch vehicle will have some method of active control, surely.  For this launch of the mock-up, it just doesn't matter that it's unstable.  It's only going up a few thousand feet.

True, it only moves a few hundred feet downrange, which is an advisable safety perimeter anyways.

And, it was supposed to come down under a parachute.  The wind can carry something coming down under a parachute quite a distance.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/03/2017 11:44 PM
They launched a vehicle and flight tested it. It has issues. Such as could never have achieved orbit.

When is the next launch? What is the expectation of that flight test over this launch? Enough to close the substantial gap between what they claim as a business and what they can do as a business?

Can't say if this is any better (yet) than:
 * a firm that builds up a LV/team over years and then never gets a vehicle to an unbuilt pad.
 * a non-aerospace exec who is clueless about LV/space but is attempting to close a large round to buy it all
 * a successful sounding rocket business perpetually ready to launch an orbital vehicle "real soon now" for a year
... and these are the best ones to mention.

FWIW, the results of this launch seem to be a) one investment advancing, b) two investments broke off, c) a very prominent VC losing a bet and becoming irate, and d) many investors asking be about how to value microlaunch as a category. None of the firms have sensible valuation process against market IMHO.

It's like watching a reality TV show. Have no idea at this point ... if any of them will be viable.

Suggest best that can be said here is that they did something, and it didn't fail.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 05/03/2017 11:57 PM
If nothing else, it's an in-flight engine test. That's pretty cool. Copenhagen Suborbitals era cool.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: IanThePineapple on 05/04/2017 12:25 AM
Vector noob here, what was the purpose of the flight today, what is the purpose of this rocket, and can this rocket get into orbit?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/04/2017 12:30 AM
Vector noob here, what was the purpose of the flight today, what is the purpose of this rocket, and can this rocket get into orbit?

Thanks!

There were likely several purposes, some stated, some unstated.

The rocket that flew today cannot get to orbit.  The outer mold line is the same shape and size as the orbital rocket they hope to develop, but the one that flew today was mostly empty inside.  It did have an engine of the type they hope to use in their orbital rocket, but only one, and small propellant tanks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 05/04/2017 12:31 AM
Vector noob here, what was the purpose of the flight today, what is the purpose of this rocket, and can this rocket get into orbit?

The end purpose of the rocket is to deliver satellites to orbit, this isn't that rocket.

People have various opinions about what the purpose of today's flight was... the most generous is that it proves the rocket engine works in flight.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 05/04/2017 12:45 AM
Vector noob here, what was the purpose of the flight today, what is the purpose of this rocket, and can this rocket get into orbit?

Thanks!

This was a test flight, mostly testing the avionics systems and the engine in flight (and, in the opinion of many on this thread, showing off to potential investors), and only reaching a height of a few thousand feet.  The test was performed with a (very) simplified version of Vector's "Vector-R" rocket, which aims to put 60kg into Low Earth Orbit and thus serve the "small-sat" market.  The real Vector-R is not going to be launching until at earliest next year, but it could take a fair bit longer.

The rocket launched today, called "Vector-R Block 0.1", was very different from the proposed orbital Vector-R.  It has no second stage, just a metal construction shaped like one.  Its first stage is very different - instead of the whole first stage being propellant tanks, what you see is an empty shell with a pair of ~100 liter tanks mounted to the inside.  This makes the shape and size similar to the operational version, but only provides enough fuel for ~10 seconds of rocket power (compared to 145 on the orbital version).  Furthermore, the entire assembly is made of traditional metal skin-and-stringers, while the orbital variant will be made of composite material.  This version uses fins for guidance, while the orbital variant would use thrust vectoring.  Finally, it only has a single first-stage engine - the orbital variant will have 3.  These changes mean that it can't even reach a mile in height, let alone get to space or reach orbit - hence why it's considered a test article.

I suggest reading through the articles on Vector's Website (https://vectorspacesystems.com/), as well as the posts in this thread, which should provide most of the information available on this company and their ambitions.

EDIT: I personally am excited to see what they can accomplish, and hope that this is just the first step, but I also don't think that today showed us anything really interesting.  I wish Vector the best with their plans, though - if they can follow through on their vision, they've got a lot to offer.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: IanThePineapple on 05/04/2017 01:02 AM
Thanks for the info guys, this is very interesting, it's basically a tiny Ares 1-X?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/04/2017 01:25 AM
Most importantly for a startup they are flying HW successfully.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/04/2017 01:25 AM
This was a test flight, mostly testing the avionics systems and the engine in flight

Since the rocket was unguided, they could only have tested a limited part of the avionics.  The most important part of the avionics to test is that it can guide the rocket properly, and that couldn't have been tested with this launch.

They could have tested that the avionics were correctly calculating the position and orientation of the rocket and broadcasting that information and the output of various sensors back to the ground correctly.  But this launch couldn't have tested whether the avionics functioned outside the atmosphere.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/04/2017 02:00 AM
IMHO this was a test of how to do a bootstrap finance start-up, just as much as it was a beginning of a sequence of vehicle flight tests.

There were a lot of burned investors on new space startups that never did anything.

(BTW, as to actual rocketry, anyone familiar with Garvey Space knows exactly what we are looking at.)

So unlike the 1) get a pile of money, 2) build a team, 3) build propulsion, ... n) launch ...

They appear to be taking what they have and launching quickly. Then they upgrade one/few systems, and launch again. Rinse and repeat. And that's why they are not hung up on getting everything right from the get-go. (And, why they appear to some as "fly by night", because they are expecting nearly orbital vehicles from the start.)

Because they are always building up, this attracts more investment as they return something to the investors, many of whom were really PO'd by not having the "bragging rights" of launch ... ever!

It's a different way to do agile, gets a lot of PR, builds on success. Will it work out? Have no idea.

add:

Keep in mind that you can get away with some of this given the theory behind microlaunch.  Something that among others, Airbus/Safran is totally clueless on.

The point is to roll-up to a field accessible to a range, tap in, prep, fuel, diagnose the vehicle, launch, and drive away.

If the concept works, you make money by repeat business, possibly with multiple concurrent launchers, like with weapons systems.

So, its not enough to just gear up for an orbital launch occasionally, you're doing this continually, overlapping with review and insight on performance.

Which is why they could do something like they are doing.

It also means that certain people who try to build up a term sheet to do a grand company, taking years to build up to the point of launch ... get pretty angry about this, because they get upstaged by some nobody out of nowhere.

Frankly while some can think they can try to get $0.5B valuation for the premise of eventually doing microlaunch and spinning it as a Musk look alike, by launching their first in 3-5yrs, the market they would attempt to build could never support such. Those likely will turn out to be like Firefly.

Can't see how you'd do microlaunch w/o a very lightweight operation - lithe is key to the concept. But ... can you be taking the "long way around the barn" ... by doing it ... too incrementally?

Also, do remember what happened with the too casual operations with SS1 and SS2 that got out of hand.

So my take is to be critical on the rate of improvement between test flights. If they don't go anywhere, it'll be over soon. If it doesn't, perhaps something that develops a value.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 05/04/2017 03:02 AM
Suggest best that can be said here is that they did something, and it didn't fail.

день прошел, никого не убили, и слава богу

( loosely translated: the day come to an end, nobody got killed, and may god bless all )

These are good days.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/04/2017 06:30 AM

Copenhagen Suborbitals era cool.


Or Bagaveev, both are in a similar LV category, with similar results - a year earlier...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iTg55Ktkn4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iTg55Ktkn4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOU2yxv-pUE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOU2yxv-pUE)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 05/04/2017 10:47 PM
Two articles, Eric Berger at ArsTechnica

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/vector-barrels-ahead-with-its-small-satellite-launcher/

Verge
https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/4/15543274/vector-space-systems-micro-satellite-space-launch-3d-printing

Quote
Price is less important to many satellite companies than the certainty of a launch date, Cantrell said. Vector already has a manifest of 135 launch vehicles from 2018 into the early 2020s...

If there is anything certain about the new crop of smallsat launchers, it is the uncertainty of the launch dates ..
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: jongoff on 05/05/2017 02:08 AM
Two articles, Eric Berger at ArsTechnica

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/vector-barrels-ahead-with-its-small-satellite-launcher/

Verge
https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/4/15543274/vector-space-systems-micro-satellite-space-launch-3d-printing

Quote
Price is less important to many satellite companies than the certainty of a launch date, Cantrell said. Vector already has a manifest of 135 launch vehicles from 2018 into the early 2020s...

If there is anything certain about the new crop of smallsat launchers, it is the uncertainty of the launch dates ..

When people talk about having a manifest of launches, I'd really like to ask if these are customers who've put down a solid down payment for those flights, or if he's just talking about letters of intent. I've heard from more than one source that most of the smallsat launchers are shopping around almost the exact same letters of intent, from the same smallsat launch customers.

~Jon
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/05/2017 06:20 AM
When people talk about having a manifest of launches, I'd really like to ask if these are customers who've put down a solid down payment for those flights, or if he's just talking about letters of intent. I've heard from more than one source that most of the smallsat launchers are shopping around almost the exact same letters of intent, from the same smallsat launch customers.
~Jon

W.r.t. Vector, they have some contracts.

At least 3/4 of their pipeline comes from a $60m contract with York Space Systems:-

Oct 17, 2016: A Denver startup company that makes small satellites has signed a $60 million launch agreement with a new rocket company to get six satellite missions to orbit by 2022. The seven-employee company, currently based in Denver, is establishing a satellite factory near Centennial.

York raised some seed funding in 2015:-

February 6, 2015 – York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in small and medium class spacecraft based in Denver, Colorado recently closed on their Seed Round of investment.

Skeptics may ask how a 7 man startup that raised seed funding can write a $60m contract. Maybe this is a clue:-

York Space Systems Advisory Director: James Cantrell

Another big announced customer is Iceye, a Finnish start-up:

02 Aug, 2016: Vector Space Systems [...] 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.

Iceye raised about $5-6M in late 2015:-

November 16, 2015: Iceye, a startup developing radar-imaging microsatellites, has gained $2.8 million in Series A funding, led by True Ventures, with participation from Lifeline Ventures and Founder.org. This follows approximately $2.8 million in Research and Development (R&D) funding from SME Instrument within the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, received in September.

The Iceye sat is about 50kg:

(http://i.imgur.com/Y7ICujf.png)

Source: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/space/workshops/2016-small-sat/Documents/ICEYE-SSS-16.pdf

So that is 21 full launches of the Vector-R.... According to Vector's slides

(http://i.imgur.com/2xGO2OZ.png)

each launch is valued at $1.5m-$2.5m... if we take the lower end and some discount for volume, let's say $1m per launch, that's $21m.

Add it all up and you get York @ $60m + Iceye @ $21m = $81M, which matches pretty well to what they claim in their pitch deck:-

(http://i.imgur.com/6TX44Y8.png)

Skeptics may wonder how a company like Iceye can commit to a $21m contract, and run their business for the past 18 months, and also write this kind of deal - with none other than York Space Systems:-

9 Aug 2016: Small spacecraft manufacturer York Space Systems announced they will supply global monitoring provider ICEYE with 10 spacecraft platforms supporting the deployment of ICEYE’s global constellation.

Added to this is the fact that the York S-Class bus has a mass of 65kg, without customer payload additions:-

(http://i.imgur.com/MqcoaJr.png)

And as we saw above the Vector-R has a nominal payload mass of just 50kg... they may be able to stretch that for lower altitudes; the Iceeye altitude is 250 miles, or circa 400km.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 05/06/2017 12:22 AM
There is a new longer video of the flight:
Quote
As we get more video and data in - here's a good one from the JAFO site showing the vehicle through burnout. @vectorspacesys #space #NASA
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/860511469581946880
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 05/06/2017 01:45 AM
I assume it popped chutes after that?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 05/06/2017 02:05 AM
I assume it popped chutes after that?
Apparently. There was a (now deleted) tweet a few pages back that said a parachute collapsed after deployment, so it probably landed hard. Presumably enough of it survived for them to take the "flight patches survived" picture, but it probably isn't "PR" worthy.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/06/2017 11:12 AM
Interesting observation from Reddit on the Vector mission patch:

Kiwinaut 3 points 8 days ago
Is that a stab at Rocket Lab with the burning Kiwi? Seems kinda childish and unnecessary...
[/i]

https://www.reddit.com/r/VectorSpace/comments/67tjxw/t7_days_mission_patch_revealed/

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-Yc2j6XcAAHrHW.jpg)

I admit that had not occured to me but it seems to be a touch more than coincidence...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/06/2017 09:49 PM
I'd say Vector has a better chance than most. Virgin and RocketLab, the two best capitalized firms, seem to be dinking around.

At least Vector is launching SOMEthing. Even if it is just a glorified mockup. But it's a liquid propellant rocket engine, so different than most High Power Rockets. Liquids are more scalable. Once you can gimble, you can load it up with fuel and have a low acceleration lift off with high impulse.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2017 09:54 PM
I'd say Vector has a better chance than most. Virgin and RocketLab, the two best capitalized firms, seem to be dinking around.

At least Vector is launching SOMEthing. Even if it is just a glorified mockup. But it's a liquid propellant rocket engine, so different than most High Power Rockets.

Hardly. At least Virgin and (and likely Rocketlab) is building real hardware that appears to be capable of orbital flight. Upper stages (with engines) and all that.

Vector should certainly be applauded for flying something. But it doesn't make them leapfrog their competitors, not even close.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/06/2017 10:17 PM
Rocketlab have everything in place to start regular commercial launches. They just need to launch. Vector still need to build all infrastructure including LV.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/06/2017 10:32 PM
I'd say Vector has a better chance than most. Virgin and RocketLab, the two best capitalized firms, seem to be dinking around.

At least Vector is launching SOMEthing. Even if it is just a glorified mockup. But it's a liquid propellant rocket engine, so different than most High Power Rockets.

The stakes are much lower with the Vector model rocket. It's frankly a stretch to even call it sub-orbital.

Comparing Vector's recent PR stunt to an actual orbital launch is like comparing a bicycle to a Ducati. Just the paperwork is several orders of magnitudes different, never mind all the critical subsystems. That Vector rocket yawed off by 10° in the first 200 ft, flew a mile high before flame out, then plummeted back to earth when the parachutes failed. The RL or VO vehicle has to insert to 500km at a velocity of 24,000km/h to an accuracy of about +/- 10cm.

There's no comparison in the complexity of the two tasks. Vector is several years away from anything in the same league, and it doesn't matter that it's small, or agile or whatever - the same principles, standards and regulations will apply when/if they move to real LVs.

The reason, I think, that RL (for example) are being very cautious and slow is that it's just a different league altogether going orbital, and doing it in a serious way when a lot of people - including the FAA and NASA - are watching closely to ensure you are capable of being issued a launch license. It doesn't matter if an investor is getting angry, the regulator calls the shots if you want a license, and they watch everything; it would not surprise me if there are 5-10 FAA and NASA inspectors on site right now making themselves unpopular, and that ignores the local waiver issue. I have consistently said "September 2017" for RL, since about Q3 last year. There's no magic bullet, the last 20% is 80% of the work.

Vector is launching things, but let's not pretend this is serious progress.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/07/2017 12:05 AM
Virgin and RocketLab, the two best capitalized firms, seem to be dinking around.
IMHO, Virgin got greedy and overbuilt SS2 - SS1 was already pushing it. Then they got too cheap.

RocketLab was "accelerated" by big money. The problem with getting that "loving attention" is that you may do things they think will speed you up, but if they don't know the field well (largely because they were sold on "experts" that fed the investors ego), they actually slow you down (or kill your efforts). Plus the fits.

Quote
At least Vector is launching SOMEthing.
Agreed. It's the rate of improvement that matters though.

At least Virgin and (and likely Rocketlab) is building real hardware that appears to be capable of orbital flight.
On the surface yes. Keep in mind that the means to prove that they could do that are more of a challenge than with other firms.

Quote
Vector should certainly be applauded for flying something. But it doesn't make them leapfrog their competitors, not even close.
Agreed.

And their rivals also have a lot to prove. it is exactly this problem that they are all battling.

Some have tried to finesse it with ego. Others by means of "all up" vehicle development. This one is a "step by step" PR driven one. None of them have extensive testing/development structure of the traditional sort. Possibly because its impossible to capital recover such from this sector.

And one just was attempted to be financed with absolutely no aerospace background, mostly on the theory of buying everything and then it just works. Highly insulting.

Both of you are right.

Rocketlab have everything in place to start regular commercial launches. They just need to launch.
Not so sure. One concern is that they have built something they can't validate to launch. "Chicken and egg".

Quote
Vector still need to build all infrastructure including LV.
They just launched their LV off a mobile launcher.

The whole point of what they are doing is to not have launch infrastructure.

Please read the above posts/links, you seem to have missed the obvious.

The stakes are much lower with the Vector model rocket. It's frankly a stretch to even call it sub-orbital.
It's frankly a stretch to call Electron ready for a payload, let alone a lunar launch by December 10th.

Quote
Comparing Vector's recent PR stunt to an actual orbital launch is like comparing a bicycle to a Ducati.
Again, not the point. You've got a test of your GSE/TEL, verification of aeroframe/engine, and test flight.

More than a bicycle.

Quote
Just the paperwork is several orders of magnitudes different, never mind all the critical subsystems.

Have no idea what you're babbling about here. And I've see all of Garvey's subsystems earlier. So perhaps you haven't seen what they have, and you are talking out of your hat.

Quote
That Vector rocket yawed off by 10° in the first 200 ft, flew a mile high before flame out, then plummeted back to earth when the parachutes failed.
Pretty much.

They didn't need much more than this for this test. The worst was the parachute failure IMHO.

Quote
The RL or VO vehicle has to insert to 500km at a velocity of 24,000km/h to an accuracy of about +/- 10cm.

And ... we don't even know yet if it won't blow up on the pad, if the launcher will function, if the propulsion under acceleration doesn't chuff, if the gimbals and flight avionics will recover from unguided error.

Quote
There's no comparison in the complexity of the two tasks. Vector is several years away from anything in the same league, and it doesn't matter that it's small, or agile or whatever - the same principles, standards and regulations will apply when/if they move to real LVs.
You're again presuming more than you know. Or ... wish to cast doubt. Or just being a "bad mouth".

I've seen nothing at the moment that can't prevent them from achieving goals.

Quote
The reason, I think, that RL (for example) are being very cautious and slow is that it's just a different league altogether going orbital, and doing it in a serious way when a lot of people - including the FAA and NASA - are watching closely to ensure you are capable of being issued a launch license.
Don't think that's at all right, perhaps its something you wish to imagine.

I think they went too fast on Electron, and didn't test the interim systems seperately enough, to save time. Now they are stuck, attempting to insure all work before doing a test to orbital launch.

So they either guessed right, eventually attempt a launch, and it works or fails. If it fails, the fear is that they'll embarrass the investor. So they are putting things off.

Quote
It doesn't matter if an investor is getting angry, the regulator calls the shots if you want a license, and they watch everything; it would not surprise me if there are 5-10 FAA and NASA inspectors on site right now making themselves unpopular, and that ignores the local waiver issue.

All of these firms, every single one of them, have this. Including with Electron. The reason is that to make this kind of venture work, you have to shortcut the process. Falcon 1/9 continually had these issues, and some have even had objections (in re: GHe pressurization especially) to the current vehicle.

Quote
I have consistently said "September 2017" for RL, since about Q3 last year. There's no magic bullet, the last 20% is 80% of the work.

There is not enough systems analysis/test/qualification coverage to insure that will happen.

Quote
Vector is launching things, but let's not pretend this is serious progress.
Apples meet oranges.

One of these puts all the chips on Red 27 and carefully rolls the die, at the last moment. The other has small bets on slot machines, poker, and horse races place/win. More of an open development with frequent flight tests.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 05/07/2017 04:59 AM
Surprisingly rowdy peanut gallery on this one.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/07/2017 06:46 AM
It's frankly a stretch to call Electron ready for a payload, let alone a lunar launch by December 10th.

I haven't said that. You seem to be very upset about Rocket Lab... almost like you have a vested interest in them not succeeding.

Quote
Again, not the point. You've got a test of your GSE/TEL, verification of aeroframe/engine, and test flight.

LOL. It's not even the same airframe...

Quote
More than a bicycle.

True. A bicycle with an oversized bell, ring, ring a-ringing.

Quote
And I've see all of Garvey's subsystems earlier. So perhaps you haven't seen what they have

I must have missed GSC's orbital launches with customer satellites, and oddly I can't find any information online. Can you post information about the dates and the technology they used, please?

Quote
And ... we don't even know yet if it won't blow up on the pad, if the launcher will function, if the propulsion under acceleration doesn't chuff, if the gimbals and flight avionics will recover from unguided error.

"All of these firms, every single one of them, have this", as someone cleverly wrote earlier.

Quote
I've seen nothing at the moment that can't prevent them from achieving goals.

Interesting double negative....

What's interesting is how much you hate Rocket Lab, but make broad ranging excuses for Vector.... A cynic might wonder why.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/07/2017 10:52 AM
By the way, Chris G has interviewed the Vector people and there's an article coming soon.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/07/2017 11:03 AM
By the way, Chris G has interviewed the Vector people and there's an article coming soon.

Look forward to it.

There was one by JF in Spacenews a couple of days ago where Cantrell said they will launch 6 increasingly complex vehicles every 2 months from now on - bigger tanks, TVC, more engines, GNC etc. leading to a mid-2018 orbital launch.
 http://spacenews.com/vector-tests-prototype-small-launch-vehicle/

Some quotes:-

"Company spokeswoman Sarah Nickell said that the planned maximum altitude for the rocket on this launch was 1,370 meters, but said later that the company will not release the flight’s actual peak altitude."

"The P-19H designation appears to be a holdover from Garvey Spacecraft Corporation, which tested a small suborbital rocket called the P-19 in 2014."

"The use of small propellant tanks, he explained, limited the vehicle’s performance for this flight and allowed them to meet Federal Aviation Administration regulations for a waiver from a commercial launch license."

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 05/07/2017 07:44 PM
(Oh, and since Chris will ask questions of Vector, we should all help him with ones we might suggest.)

"In December, you announced target hires of 200 over next three years, in Tucson. Where are you on that hiring curve, about 6 months in ? How hard is it to find talent, and are you currently looking for very experienced or very junior roles?"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 05/07/2017 11:45 PM
Quote
Quote
Again, not the point. You've got a test of your GSE/TEL, verification of aeroframe/engine, and test flight.

LOL. It's not even the same airframe...

It has the shape, it accepts the loads, it simulates the CG/CP necessary. Could serve as a baseline before being replaced by a carbon fiber one on the next flight.

So why would you do this? Perhaps because you'd have the before/after flight data, where you can tell the benefit (structural, performance, ...) of the added components.

I understand that you have a strength in rhetoric and a weakness in aerospace engineering, so I'll assist you to balance the two by pushing back on the former, and giving you detail on the second. (And, if you request it, I'll even do you the courtesy of supplying comparatives between rivals - at a high level.)


It does have the shape, but it can't accept the same loads if it doesn't weigh the same, thrust as much, nor fly through the portions of the trajectory that define vehicle stresses. There is not much of anything meaningful tested here in the progress of structures or aerodynamics for an orbital launch. Maybe more so in propulsion & propellant handling.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 05/08/2017 12:43 AM
There was one by JF in Spacenews a couple of days ago where Cantrell said they will launch 6 increasingly complex vehicles every 2 months from now on - bigger tanks, TVC, more engines, GNC etc. leading to a mid-2018 orbital launch.

That sounds like a great way to go, especially if you actually manage to recover the vehicle (or at least the engines) after each test. All-up disposable testing is so over.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/09/2017 05:02 PM
I'll give this a standalone, as this will be introducing Vector Space to a lot of people, as opposed to the ones following this long thread, but here's Chris Gebhardt's interview/feature article!

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/vector-space-first-test-flight-aims-small-sat-expansion/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: saliva_sweet on 05/09/2017 08:41 PM
Quote
Comparing Vector's recent PR stunt to an actual orbital launch is like comparing a bicycle to a Ducati.
Again, not the point. You've got a test of your GSE/TEL, verification of aeroframe/engine, and test flight.

But they didn't test any of that :(

I have to say I was extremely underwhelmed with this showing. It did not look like a meaningful step towards their goals. SpaceX's first flight was an orbital attempt and it provided lessons needed to make it to orbit. This did not. To me it seemed more like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ibmi8CX4p8
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: saliva_sweet on 05/09/2017 09:56 PM
Again, not the point. You've got a test of your GSE/TEL, verification of aeroframe/engine, and test flight.

But they didn't test any of that :(

Excuse me, but ... the second picture (in Chris's article) shows a Vector rocket launching off of a launcher/TEL, with GSE next to it.

The vehicle has an aeroframe and flies. Using one of the engines. It is a test flight.

Your point is ... ?

The weight, thrust, total impulse, everything about the rocket has to be on another level completely. The only thing they showed was that the launch button works. That's not the long pole. 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 05/09/2017 10:06 PM
Excuse me, but ... the second picture (in Chris's article) shows a Vector rocket launching off of a launcher/TEL, with GSE next to it.
As I understand it, that is one of FAR's launch rails, and not Vector's (http://friendsofamateurrocketry.org/Launchers.html). Vector's launcher doesn't have a rail (https://vectorspacesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/vector-r-expanded-view-768x648.png ); so I don't know if we can say that their launcher has been tested. I don't know anything about their GSE, but it's possible the hookups could have been similar to the flight version (but with reduced ground storage capacity).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/09/2017 10:12 PM
Again, not the point. You've got a test of your GSE/TEL, verification of aeroframe/engine, and test flight.

But they didn't test any of that :(

Excuse me, but ... the second picture (in Chris's article) shows a Vector rocket launching off of a launcher/TEL, with GSE next to it.

The vehicle has an aeroframe and flies. Using one of the engines. It is a test flight.

Your point is ... ?

The weight, thrust, total impulse, everything about the rocket has to be on another level completely. The only thing they showed was that the launch button works. That's not the long pole. 

The article specifically talks about this being the first of six test flights over the next year, each of which will test a different element of the system or ramp up intensity and size of the test vehicle. 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/09/2017 10:14 PM
Excuse me, but ... the second picture (in Chris's article) shows a Vector rocket launching off of a launcher/TEL, with GSE next to it.
As I understand it, that is one of FAR's launch rails, and not Vector's (http://friendsofamateurrocketry.org/Launchers.html). Vector's launcher doesn't have a rail (https://vectorspacesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/vector-r-expanded-view-768x648.png ); so I don't know if we can say that their launcher has been tested. I don't know anything about their GSE, but it's possible the hookups could have been similar to the flight version (but with reduced ground storage capacity).
Are you also a major shareholder in Rocket Lab USA with a devious agenda to crush the technical mastery of this mighty competitive force?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/09/2017 10:14 PM
Excuse me, but ... the second picture (in Chris's article) shows a Vector rocket launching off of a launcher/TEL, with GSE next to it.
As I understand it, that is one of FAR's launch rails, and not Vector's (http://friendsofamateurrocketry.org/Launchers.html). Vector's launcher doesn't have a rail (https://vectorspacesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/vector-r-expanded-view-768x648.png ); so I don't know if we can say that their launcher has been tested. I don't know anything about their GSE, but it's possible the hookups could have been similar to the flight version (but with reduced ground storage capacity).

Vector does not use unmovable ground storage -- so there was nothing to "reduce" in this case.  They use a completely mobile system that's tailorable to each specific mission and rocket.  My interview with Vector was an hour long, and way too much info for one article.  We have a second one planned soon that will cover the mobile aspect of the entire launch system.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 05/09/2017 10:37 PM
SpaceX's first flight was an orbital attempt and it provided lessons needed to make it to orbit.

Imagine how much money they would have saved if they'd done incremental testing. The company might not have been on the brink of failing. Elon might not have been sleeping on friend's couches, etc. I can't imagine why anyone things developing a few million dollars worth of rocket hardware and dropping it in the ocean is a good thing. Incremental reuse is the way to test a new vehicle.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/09/2017 10:47 PM
The article specifically talks about this being the first of six test flights over the next year, each of which will test a different element of the system or ramp up intensity and size of the test vehicle.

Well, they need to ramp up a lot of things that are really not that easy to switch on in 12 months and they show no sign of having advanced e.g. mastery of thin ply CFRP; IMUs with an ARW of  less than 0.01 degrees per hour; aerothermal flux measurement systems that can handle greater 1000kw per m2; a working metric AFTS that is FAA approved and verified against a tracking solution; load balancing of TVC across several engines; pneumatic staging collets and pushers; reliable vacuum engine reignition for circularization; and so on, and on, and on.

The reason some people are skeptical about this "test" is that it doesn't seem to test any critical subsystems like these that are essential to an actual orbital vehicle. It looks more like a re-skinned GSC Prospector, probably using the same subsystems GSC have flown suborbital for years.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 05/09/2017 10:48 PM
Vector does not use unmovable ground storage -- so there was nothing to "reduce" in this case.  They use a completely mobile system that's tailorable to each specific mission and rocket.  My interview with Vector was an hour long, and way too much info for one article.  We have a second one planned soon that will cover the mobile aspect of the entire launch system.
I didn't mean to imply that they used permanent tanks. I was pointing out that they appeared to use 100-200 liter dewars in this test, and I would assume they would need something closer to a semi trailer bulk dewar for the orbital version. Regardless of tank size, it would be interesting to know how "flight like" the vehicle QD's were. I'm looking forward to the next article; it will be interesting to see how their mobile architecture works.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/09/2017 11:16 PM
The article specifically talks about this being the first of six test flights over the next year, each of which will test a different element of the system or ramp up intensity and size of the test vehicle.

Well, they need to ramp up a lot of things that are really not that easy to switch on in 12 months and they show no sign of having advanced e.g. mastery of thin ply CFRP; IMUs with an ARW of  less than 0.01 degrees per hour; aerothermal flux measurement systems that can handle greater 1000kw per m2; a working metric AFTS that is FAA approved and verified against a tracking solution; load balancing of TVC across several engines; pneumatic staging collets and pushers; reliable vacuum engine reignition for circularization; and so on, and on, and on.

The reason some people are skeptical about this "test" is that it doesn't seem to test any critical subsystems like these that are essential to an actual orbital vehicle. It looks more like a re-skinned GSC Prospector, probably using the same subsystems GSC have flown suborbital for years.


Excellent.  This is all great information that I can ask about -- and I shall.  :)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: saliva_sweet on 05/10/2017 09:08 AM
SpaceX's first flight was an orbital attempt and it provided lessons needed to make it to orbit.

Imagine how much money they would have saved if they'd done incremental testing.

I tried to imagine, and I believe Elon tried too, but concluded that he can't afford to develop six different rockets. Five of which would only fly once and not replicate the conditions you would actually want to test against. They tested everything incrementally on the ground and flew their best attempt at the real deal. Then learned from failures.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: saliva_sweet on 05/10/2017 04:42 PM
QG's point is extremely valid. Suppose they fielded a successful variation on what Masten was doing, on the scale of Falcon 1. Done first like Grasshopper, then with better legs, then with tanks/skin/structures that would survive max-Q (like what BO did but with orbital scale). If they did it deftly, few vehicles constantly refitted would get you to a re-flyable booster first, to which you add a second stage.

Hmm, I guess we should pitch this idea to Dave Masten. He should start iteratively adding bigger tanks, engines, structures, TPS to Xombie to ultmately make a reusable orbital launcher. Get into that lucrative EELV business. I bet it never occurred to him and I'm sure he'll give us a modest cut of the DOD money too :)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/10/2017 06:27 PM
Masten said if missed out on XS1 contract he would develop a smaller version for smallsat.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 05/10/2017 08:16 PM
SpaceX's first flight was an orbital attempt and it provided lessons needed to make it to orbit.

Imagine how much money they would have saved if they'd done incremental testing.

I tried to imagine, and I believe Elon tried too, but concluded that he can't afford to develop six different rockets. Five of which would only fly once and not replicate the conditions you would actually want to test against. They tested everything incrementally on the ground and flew their best attempt at the real deal. Then learned from failures.

Musk was skeptical of recovery (initially engines only), and wanted a viable business first.

QG's point is extremely valid. Suppose they fielded a successful variation on what Masten was doing, on the scale of Falcon 1. Done first like Grasshopper, then with better legs, then with tanks/skin/structures that would survive max-Q (like what BO did but with orbital scale). If they did it deftly, few vehicles constantly refitted would get you to a re-flyable booster first, to which you add a second stage.

I don't know... The gap between suborbital and orbital is vast. I can't recall a design that was started out small and then was tinkered with to gradually become an orbital first stage. This to me suggests that you have to at some point start-from-scratch and drastically scale up. (perhaps more than once)

And being able to design and build rocket engines does not mean that even reaching suborbital space is likely. How many startups even reach 100km? I wish Vector well but the odds are stacked against them.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/11/2017 06:10 AM
I don't know... The gap between suborbital and orbital is vast. I can't recall a design that was started out small and then was tinkered with to gradually become an orbital first stage.

Viking -> Vanguard
Redstone -> Juno I -> Mercury-Redstone
Jupiter -> Juno II
Thor -> Thor-Agena -> Delta -> Delta II -> Delta III
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Nomic on 05/11/2017 08:55 AM
Issue with incremental testing a reusable system from day one is the lack of customer revenue during development, probably a long development losing several vehicles along the way. How many investors have the patience and trust to stick with a company through this? Starting with an ELV at least gets customers paying for the flying test stands sooner.

That said, I'm not convinced by the economics of any pressure fed launcher.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 05/11/2017 02:28 PM
Issue with incremental testing a reusable system from day one is the lack of customer revenue during development, probably a long development losing several vehicles along the way. How many investors have the patience and trust to stick with a company through this? Starting with an ELV at least gets customers paying for the flying test stands sooner.

That said, I'm not convinced by the economics of any pressure fed launcher.

If Vector was fully funded for development I'd tend to agree. They seem to still be in capital raising mode so actually flying anything is probably very helpful in getting investors on-board.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Nomic on 05/11/2017 03:00 PM
I was thinking more about the problems of developing an RLV, for Vector I'd agree, flying anything improves their chances of attracting investors.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 05/11/2017 06:57 PM
I don't know... The gap between suborbital and orbital is vast. I can't recall a design that was started out small and then was tinkered with to gradually become an orbital first stage.

Viking -> Vanguard
Redstone -> Juno I -> Mercury-Redstone
Jupiter -> Juno II
Thor -> Thor-Agena -> Delta -> Delta II -> Delta III

Those are good examples, thanks! But they all started with V-2 heritage missile/stages, which were already capable of suborbital spaceflight. A much more capable starting point than what Vector is now at, but your point is taken.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: rsdavis9 on 05/11/2017 08:43 PM
so is the first stage recovered with parachutes?
I didn't see any info on this.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 05/11/2017 09:37 PM
so is the first stage recovered with parachutes?
I didn't see any info on this.

That would be my assumption too. Presumably with some boostback to the launch site.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/12/2017 06:12 AM
I think it's worth noting one thing to compare and contrast Vector's maiden flight plan with Rocket Lab's maiden flight plan.

Vector had planned an altitude of 1.3 km, presumably straight up and straight back down again: "Company spokeswoman Sarah Nickell said that the planned maximum altitude for the rocket on this launch was 1,370 meters, but said later that the company will not release the flight’s actual peak altitude."

Rocket Lab's planned flight path is almost 2,200 km, altitude is not mentioned, probably because orbital flight is more about the gravity turn and horizontal deltaV than altitude; simple altitude does not get you to orbit:


Rocket Lab has quietly set first test dates in a new NOTAM, 22 May - 3 June:-

(http://i.imgur.com/5biXzBw.png)

Here's a plot of the debris boxes, showing flight path:-

(http://i.imgur.com/uhFLhI6.png)

But based on those hazard zones I am not expecting this to be an orbital flight; the second hazard zone is probably the S2 drop, and normally S2 would achieve orbit and burn up on re-entry some time later.

These two vehicles and companies are not in the same category.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 05/12/2017 07:35 AM
I think it's worth noting one thing to compare and contrast Vector's maiden flight plan with Rocket Lab's maiden flight plan.

Vector had planned an altitude of 1.3 km, presumably straight up and straight back down again: "Company spokeswoman Sarah Nickell said that the planned maximum altitude for the rocket on this launch was 1,370 meters, but said later that the company will not release the flight’s actual peak altitude."

Rocket Lab's planned flight path is almost 2,200 km, altitude is not mentioned, probably because orbital flight is more about the gravity turn and horizontal deltaV than altitude; simple altitude does not get you to orbit:

You don't actually know that.. and that isn't what Notices to Mariners are for.  RL's little rocket might get somewhere or they might not get anywhere at all, but there are a lot of fishing vessels and a cruise liner or two traipsing along that coast and it's more than fair to warn them to watch out skywards if they're in the area.

What it does show is that, since they have no way to cover such a vast area of open ocean, RL have absolutely no intention of recovering any part of this "test" vehicle if it just happens to leave the launch site.

These two vehicles and companies are not in the same category.

That much is true.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/12/2017 07:56 AM

I think it's worth noting one thing to compare and contrast Vector's maiden flight plan with Rocket Lab's maiden flight plan.

Vector had planned an altitude of 1.3 km, presumably straight up and straight back down again: "Company spokeswoman Sarah Nickell said that the planned maximum altitude for the rocket on this launch was 1,370 meters, but said later that the company will not release the flight’s actual peak altitude."

Rocket Lab's planned flight path is almost 2,200 km, altitude is not mentioned, probably because orbital flight is more about the gravity turn and horizontal deltaV than altitude; simple altitude does not get you to orbit:

You don't actually know that.. and that isn't what Notices to Mariners are for.  RL's little rocket might get somewhere or they might not get anywhere at all, but there are a lot of fishing vessels and a cruise liner or two traipsing along that coast and it's more than fair to warn them to watch out skywards if they're in the area.

Sure I know that. As I said, those boxes delineate their intended planned flight path.

Notice I said "planned".

Whether they make it or not is another question, but that debris pattern defines the flight direction and expected range.

The FAA  / CAA will have another plan that shows the exclusion zones in the airspace envelope but that pattern is a solid clue to inclination and power intentions.

In fact here are the NZ CAA AIPs affecting the Auckland Oceanic FLIR, from sea level to FL13.5 around Hawkes Bay and to FL999 beyond it:

(http://imgur.com/neE7eQb.jpg)

(http://imgur.com/3XUXdjA.jpg)

(http://imgur.com/pvKgSGB.jpg)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/14/2017 10:07 AM
Just saw something else about Vector's estimated $21m Iceye contract:

Iceye Advisors

James Cantrell
    Advisor
    Co Founder Vector Space
    Founding team SpaceX
    Founder of StratSpace
    Founder of Vintage Exotics Engineering
    Angel Investor

Source:https://angel.co/iceye (https://angel.co/iceye)

So Jim Cantrell is an advisor to BOTH his main anchor customers.

I hope people putting money into this company are doing due diligence on the tech and commercials.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/14/2017 05:10 PM
I doubt Vector will have any problems finding customers once flying. There are a lot Smalsat and cubesat based businesses relying on likes of RL and Vector to deliver their satellites to specific orbits.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/18/2017 05:58 PM
Second article by Chris Gebhardt:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/vector-space-expand-launch-ranges-infrastructure-pads/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/18/2017 07:40 PM
Quote
Vector-R 1st launch patch is available! A portion of proceeds goto @Kiwisforkiwi kiwisforkiwi.org foundation https://vectorspacesystems.com/product/vector-r-mission-patch-b0-001-first-flight/

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/865276411052933120 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/865276411052933120)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: tvg98 on 05/25/2017 08:47 PM
Here's a video I've not seen:

It's another promo video by Vector.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BbG-9aguYU&ab_channel=LukasBradley (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BbG-9aguYU&ab_channel=LukasBradley)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 05/25/2017 09:06 PM
Here's a video I've not seen:

It's another promo video by Vector.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BbG-9aguYU&ab_channel=LukasBradley (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BbG-9aguYU&ab_channel=LukasBradley)



That came down HARD.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 05/25/2017 10:03 PM
That came down HARD.
They took 'fail fast' a bit too literally.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: billh on 05/25/2017 11:25 PM
I love that you can see the old X-Prize landing pads in that video.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 05/27/2017 10:27 PM
Promise of livestreamed launches in the future

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/867952998781140994

Now if we could make them space launches, this would be awesome news
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 05/28/2017 01:32 AM
These two vehicles and companies are not in the same category.

That much is true.

Yes, even more clear after the Rocketlab flight, they are far ahead. But hopefully that will be an inspiration to Vector.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/28/2017 06:41 AM
Promise of livestreamed launches in the future

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/867952998781140994

That's not what the tweet said.

"Vector communication trailer being built as we speak; live video streams of launches in the near future? Stay tuned..."

It would be awesome if Vector does do a livestream though.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 05/31/2017 04:14 PM
Here's a video I've not seen:

It's another promo video by Vector.
It looks like that video has been removed and re-uploaded, but without the rapid descent shot at the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmbFFAqYiMw
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 08:07 PM
Quote
Successful test today towards a pyro-free vehicle 2nd stage motor & new spark igniter developed w/@UAHuntsville sponsored by @NASA_Marshall

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/870365471857532928 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/870365471857532928)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 06/02/2017 06:34 PM
Video as well

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/870706770313752576

More of a burp, 5 seconds.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 06/03/2017 07:45 AM
Video attached. Some people, like myself, can't watch the video directly.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2017 06:51 PM
Quote
This is the skeleton of a Vector-R rocket being built by @vectorspacesys right here in Tucson. Should be launched into sub-orbit next month!

https://twitter.com/johnpatrickkvoa/status/872518771960926208 (https://twitter.com/johnpatrickkvoa/status/872518771960926208)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/07/2017 08:06 PM
Just fiddling with some numbers on Vector-R.

One of the payload options in the minimal LSG is 50kg to 200km LEO.

Is that a useful option? This says you get a fifth of a day in orbit before re-entry:-

http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/lab/orbital_decay/

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 06/07/2017 08:14 PM
Just fiddling with some numbers on Vector-R.

One of the payload options in the minimal LSG is 50kg to 200km LEO.

Is that a useful option? This says you get a fifth of a day in orbit before re-entry:-

http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/lab/orbital_decay/


Vector-R Block-0.x is being used for early Sub-orbital launches.
Quote
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/vector-1.htm

First launch tests involve low altitude flights of a full size aluminium air-frame called Vector-R Block 0.1 with the technology of the Garvey/Vector P19 rocket and only one engine.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Oberon_Command on 06/07/2017 08:16 PM
Just fiddling with some numbers on Vector-R.

One of the payload options in the minimal LSG is 50kg to 200km LEO.

Is that a useful option? This says you get a fifth of a day in orbit before re-entry:-

http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/lab/orbital_decay/

What settings did you use for the surface area of the sat? Cubesats are 10x10x10cm, so I used a surface area of 0.01m^2(0.1m * 0.1m) and got reentry after 55 days at that altitude.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/07/2017 09:47 PM
Just fiddling with some numbers on Vector-R.

One of the payload options in the minimal LSG is 50kg to 200km LEO.

Is that a useful option? This says you get a fifth of a day in orbit before re-entry:-

http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/lab/orbital_decay/

What settings did you use for the surface area of the sat? Cubesats are 10x10x10cm, so I used a surface area of 0.01m^2(0.1m * 0.1m) and got reentry after 55 days at that altitude.

I used 0.5-1.0m because for 50kg it is not 10x10x10cm. Granted an individual sat in a 50kg payload might be.

I guess I was just wondering if those orbits are practical for commercial use or mainly demo/academic options.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/10/2017 06:41 AM
Quote
More Vector-R Block 0 launchers under construction for @vectorspacesys - stay tuned ! #space

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/873358603624734720 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/873358603624734720)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 06/10/2017 07:59 AM
So... more just like the last test? (Based on the image which suggest a flying mockup structure like the last launch) I thought they were going to move ahead with the actual vehicle now.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Zingpc on 06/11/2017 10:00 AM
Can someone explain to me how this rocket is supposed to work!  A pressure fed nozzle? . Is there a turbopump into the combustion chamber? It cannot be  a hybrid solid rocket with three Nozzles.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/11/2017 03:52 PM
Can someone explain to me how this rocket is supposed to work!  A pressure fed nozzle? . Is there a turbopump into the combustion chamber? It cannot be  a hybrid solid rocket with three Nozzles.
As far as I can read it is intended to be pressure fed, no mention of a turbopump that I have seen. Definitely not a hybrid.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 06/11/2017 10:09 PM
If you're asking if a pressure fed rocket to reach space, the answer is yes. I don't think it's been done, but it's possible.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Proponent on 06/11/2017 11:16 PM
The first French rockets to reach orbit were pressure fed, though the pressure was produced by gas generators rather than by compressed-gas reservoirs.

Vector is autogenously pressurized.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Zingpc on 06/12/2017 03:00 AM
The first French rockets to reach orbit were pressure fed, though the pressure was produced by gas generators rather than by compressed-gas reservoirs.

Vector is autogenously pressurized.

A gas generator is by definition not a pressure fed system. is autogenous something that spontaneously pressurises as you pass it over catalyst?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: billh on 06/12/2017 03:22 AM
Autogenous means the fuel has a high enough vapor pressure to self-pressurize. Without some kind of pump, however, that's going to give a relatively low chamber pressure in the engine, and thus a low ISP.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Proponent on 06/13/2017 08:15 AM
The first French rockets to reach orbit were pressure fed, though the pressure was produced by gas generators rather than by compressed-gas reservoirs.

A gas generator is by definition not a pressure fed system.

Perhaps you're referring to the (bi-propellant) gas-generator pumping cycle used by many engines, such as the Merlin.  That is not, I would agree, an example of pressure feed.  The French Diamant rockets were different: gas generators were used not to drive turbo pumps, but to pressurize propellant tanks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 06/13/2017 09:09 AM
Didn't all the Diamants have solid stages too?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/13/2017 09:19 AM
Didn't all the Diamants have solid stages too?

Yes - the second and third stages were solid.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Zingpc on 06/13/2017 11:23 PM
gas generators were used not to drive turbo pumps, but to pressurize propellant tanks.

The SSME did this in the oxygen preburner to produce gox from lox for various tasks. These are not for propellent into compulsion chambers, which is the problem for Vector if they are telling everybody they can get this scheme to orbit. First show everybody (potential investors) you can do a burn over 100 seconds. Stop doing rocket launches till this is proved.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 06/13/2017 11:41 PM
I don't understand your concern (trolling). Are they doing blowdown? If not, why would you think they can't maintain tank pressure? Even with blowdown pressurization, Armadillo did a 192 second flight. It's a non-issue.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Zingpc on 06/14/2017 04:10 AM
Have they demonstrated the technology, that's all. As in greater than 10 seconds of a pressure fed long cylindrical rocket.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 06/14/2017 04:19 AM
Can someone explain to me how this rocket is supposed to work!  A pressure fed nozzle? . Is there a turbopump into the combustion chamber? It cannot be  a hybrid solid rocket with three Nozzles.

This sounds very different from:

Have they demonstrated the technology, that's all. As in greater than 10 seconds of a pressure fed long cylindrical rocket.

Please, if you want to ask if Vector are a bunch of backyard amateurs who haven't flown anything above a few thousand feet, just do so... there's no need to be shy. They happen to be very sophisticated "backyard amateurs"... perhaps on-par with UP Aerospace and EXOS Aerospace and the others who came before them. We should be wishing them the best of luck and hoping they can find the resources to do bigger and better things.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Zingpc on 06/14/2017 08:44 AM
These are simple questions. I don't care if they impinge upon the professionalism of these guys. I think they are worth answering for the sake of those that have put up money. 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 06/14/2017 02:36 PM
These are simple questions. I don't care if they impinge upon the professionalism of these guys. I think they are worth answering for the sake of those that have put up money.

Do you know anyone who has invested in Vector?  I'd think they would have already asked those questions before they wrote the checks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Zingpc on 06/15/2017 07:18 PM
Vector have just published the Vector-R and -H user guides, attached.

You see behind the rocket test stand a group of heavy metal nitrogen tanks that provide the chamber pressure for this rocket to work.  What is going on with this pressure fed system? Where is the same pressure going to come from on the actual rocket?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 06/20/2017 08:11 PM
In a completely unexpected turn of events, a NewSpace CEO is speaking at an airshow conference and presenting not one but the entire family of yet to be designed orbital launch vehicles

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/877082386806185985


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 06/20/2017 09:20 PM
To be fair, those two models are not new but have been announced before.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/24/2017 10:32 AM
These are simple questions. I don't care if they impinge upon the professionalism of these guys. I think they are worth answering for the sake of those that have put up money.

Do you know anyone who has invested in Vector?  I'd think they would have already asked those questions before they wrote the checks.

There are some people on Twitter who said they put money in, e.g. @RobbKunz.

Mostly angels so far, more information on Angellist and Crunchbase.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/29/2017 08:06 PM
Vector continue to have no trouble generating press:

Quote
SpaceX Vet’s Startup Readies Small Rockets for Takeoff
Vector Space Systems raises $21 million to build smaller, cheaper rockets.
By Ashlee Vance
29 June 2017, 20:00 BST

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-29/spacex-vet-s-startup-readies-small-rockets-for-takeoff (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-29/spacex-vet-s-startup-readies-small-rockets-for-takeoff)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/29/2017 08:37 PM
That is a bit more than "press" - they just raised $21m from a group led by a Tier 1 VC.

Frankly astonishing.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/30/2017 05:20 AM
I doubt Vector will have any problems finding customers once flying. There are a lot Smalsat and cubesat based businesses relying on likes of RL and Vector to deliver their satellites to specific orbits.

And the likes of SpaceX.  Don't forget that there's already a flight on the manifest devoted solely to deploying a large number of smallsats on one launch.

SpaceX is a much more formidable competitor in the smallsat market than Rocket Lab, Vector, or Virgin Galactic.  And the more the smallsat market grows, the more formidable SpaceX will become because the flights dedicates to smallsats will become more common.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/30/2017 05:27 AM
That is a bit more than "press" - they just raised $21m from a group led by a Tier 1 VC.

Frankly astonishing.

And Juicero raised $120 million from Tier 1 VCs, including Kleiner Perkins.  And Theranos raised $400 million.

VC firms venturing outside their area of expertise can make some pretty bad investments.  In recent years, Silicon Valley VCs, faced with a glut of investors, have been looking in other industries for deals.  It doesn't mean they're good at judging companies in other industries.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 06/30/2017 07:10 AM
That is a bit more than "press" - they just raised $21m from a group led by a Tier 1 VC.

Frankly astonishing.

Why is it astonishing ? Fair shot at the hockey stick for all involved

Watch Vector start properly building out a real team soon now. Hope they know what kind of talent you need to bring on at this stage
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/30/2017 07:23 AM
That is a bit more than "press" - they just raised $21m from a group led by a Tier 1 VC.

Frankly astonishing.

Why is it astonishing ? Fair shot at the hockey stick for all involved

Watch Vector start properly building out a real team soon now. Hope they know what kind of talent you need to bring on at this stage

I'm with ringsider on this.  Not a very good shot at all at the hockey stick.

It's telling that Vector said there was room for 5 providers in this space.  That's always the sales pitch of weaker companies -- there's room for more competitors in the market.  The weaker the company, the more room the company claims there is for providers.  It's what they say when they know they can't make a plausible case that they're the top or one of the top contenders in the space.  The best Vector can claim is that maybe if all goes well they can be in the top 5.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/01/2017 06:49 AM
That is a bit more than "press" - they just raised $21m from a group led by a Tier 1 VC.

Frankly astonishing.

Why is it astonishing ? Fair shot at the hockey stick for all involved

Watch Vector start properly building out a real team soon now. Hope they know what kind of talent you need to bring on at this stage

I think given what they have shown so far, this is an enormous amount of money, and you have to assume the valuation is around $50-100m for that level of raise, which is nutbar for what they have.

Seriously this is like giving $20m to an outfit with a track record similar to Copenhagen Suborbitals. I'm just astonished that Sequoia believed the hype. That demo launch was clearly critical to the funding event.

The outcome though is what is more important now. It's great for them, they will be able to spend money on all kinds of things, and make serious progress now, although I am sure it will be paid in progress tranches, rather than one lump, so any setbacks could put them in a tricky spot.

I do know now that the new World HQ is a build and lease back deal, I found that in a public document:

arizona.uli.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2012/03/ELOY-TAP.pdf
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 04:28 PM
I say Vector has a much greater shot of meeting a $100m valuation than RL does of a billion.

And just the fact that Vector doesn't dismiss reuse means they have more of a shot at reaching hundreds of launches than RL does (assuming RL doesn't change their tune on reuse, which is admittedly a big assumption).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/01/2017 04:59 PM
That is a bit more than "press" - they just raised $21m from a group led by a Tier 1 VC.

Frankly astonishing.

It doesn't mean they're good at judging companies in other industries.

Depends on their advisers. Which is what you are seeing these past few months.

The advisers to VC who invested in RL told them the same "bad mouth" stuff on this thread about Vector/others.

Caused one VC to try to lockout the others ("you go through me", "only game in town") for this microlaunch sector.

Made a claim/bet that RL would launch first and make it to orbit. So Vector launched first, ahead of RL, then RL launched.

This caused the larger VC's to call the bluff. (They also have better advisers than the rival ones, who were as dumb as some of the ignorant comments one hears here.)

They now want to rub a certain VC's nose in it. By showing that he overvalued RL (which he did) and got poor capital use. And this guy often brags about how good he is at this. We call this "overreach".

The gambit between the two is quite different. As QuantumG correctly opined, you can develop a LV for dramatically less, carrying much less financial structural burden. And, there are extremely significant advantages from use of a mobile launch platform.

Right now things are very asymmetric. RL is being critiqued over very specific details, and Vector just has to move the ball down the field to be a bit better next launch.

Both are quite far from becoming businesses, so manifests and launch contracts are still fantasy land.

The battle mentioned is mostly between two investor egos, has less to do with the companies. Reminds of watching a soap box derby competition between two dads, each trying to out do the other. Both have tons of resources, and one is "King Stork" manically trying to win, the other is "King Log", casually trying place.

The key paragraph, near the bottom of the Bloomberg piece linked above:
Quote from: Ashlee Vance
The aerospace industry is divided on how successful these small rockets will be. The price per pound on the large rockets from SpaceX and others is still more economical. But it’s the flexibility of requesting a launch, almost like you’d order something on Amazon.com, that could end up being more attractive than pure cost. “The lower end of the market will be more important than most people realize,” said Rob Coneybeer, managing director at Shasta Ventures. “Moore’s Law is allowing you to make more capable things smaller and smaller, and I think the low-end rockets will hit the sweet spot.”

The problem for RL/others with a fixed pad is the cost recovery for the facilities puts the launch rate much higher for break-even. Mobile launcher gets you away from these. Plus, you get massively better capital reuse in adding a tiny amount to a "bootstrap" vehicle, rather than doing "all up" and redoing it a dozen times.

Consider all of the microlaunch rivals as doing variations on the theme of Falcon 1. Now - think of all the reasons why SX walked away from it. Those feature in how the rivals succeed.

Vector could take five years to succeed, and their investors could accept that. RL could succeed next test and Vector investors wouldn't be fazed in the slightest.

The point of the investment thesis is to prevent the perception of a lockup by anyone of microlaunch as a category. Works as designed. To place not win.

I say Vector has a much greater shot of meeting a $100m valuation than RL does of a billion.

And just the fact that Vector doesn't dismiss reuse means they have more of a shot at reaching hundreds of launches than RL does (assuming RL doesn't change their tune on reuse, which is admittedly a big assumption).
My sentiments exactly.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 07/01/2017 05:37 PM
The key paragraph, near the bottom of the Bloomberg piece linked above:
Quote from: Ashlee Vance
The aerospace industry is divided on how successful these small rockets will be. The price per pound on the large rockets from SpaceX and others is still more economical. But it’s the flexibility of requesting a launch, almost like you’d order something on Amazon.com, that could end up being more attractive than pure cost. “The lower end of the market will be more important than most people realize,” said Rob Coneybeer, managing director at Shasta Ventures. “Moore’s Law is allowing you to make more capable things smaller and smaller, and I think the low-end rockets will hit the sweet spot.”

And there's the problem right there for all these small launch vehicles.  The lower end of the market is the most price-sensitive.  They're the ones who are least likely to be willing, or even able, to pay 5x for flexibility of requesting a launch.  And the bigger the market becomes, the more regularly-scheduled dedicated flights on big launchers.  That means more flexibility from the low-cost alternative.

Vector and Rocket Lab and the rest are trying to be charter flights versus the airliner of SpaceX and eventually Blue Origin and others.  The more demand there is, the more regular airliner flights there are, so the more flexibility you can get just by booking on an airliner, so the less attractive a charter becomes.  And these charter operators are targeting a market that is very price-sensitive.  And they are charter operators who have cost structures that make them permanently far more expensive.  And they are charter operators who can't provide much in the way of value-add over the airliners other than schedule.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/01/2017 06:58 PM
Video clip of interview attached to this tweet:

Quote
"We’ll launch more rockets than anybody else in the world, combined." @vectorspacesys CEO @jamesncantrell on @cheddar #cheddarlive  earlier
https://twitter.com/lisahopeking/status/880922466503188480 (https://twitter.com/lisahopeking/status/880922466503188480)

Peter B de Selding pulled out this quote:

Quote
CEO of @vectorspacesys: "We've already sold nearly 200 launches and we havent launched yet. So demand is there."
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/881218280568094722 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/881218280568094722)

I imagine that's a key part of the pitch to VCs.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 07:04 PM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?

To put it another way: is there any cost to me as some random person for just "booking" a launch to save a spot for a payload I haven't and may never build? Or if I do have a payload, is there any reason I can't book on every microlaunch startup and just cancel all but one for no extra cost?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 07/01/2017 07:10 PM

The point is the structure of the entire activity. Unlike traditional launch. Where the ignorance might come from.

The low cost vehicle/launcher/GSE (and you can afford 10-20 of them concurrent) means that its cheap resource can be speculatively deployed, launch can happen or not, and it returns to inventory. "Restocking fee" only.

So you get flexibility with low cost.

That directly contradicts the Bloomberg article you yourself quoted above that makes the point that bulk launches on larger launchers are lower cost.

It's not that you are paying for flexibility. You're "paying" for immediacy.

Again, flexibility is what the Bloomberg quote above says.  You're the one that quoted it.  And when I respond to the point about flexibility, you say no, it's not flexibility at all.  Then why did you quote that paragraph of the article, say it was "key", and not say anything then if you thought the main argument they made in favor of microlaunch was wrong?

Anyway, launch operations are a significant portion of launch costs.  That "restocking fee" is likely to be large.

So the market for a cubesat is you either wait for a rideshare (1-5yr) or microlaunch (1 week).

You're continuing to ignore my main point, which is that if the cubesat market really is large, there will be regular, common dedicated cubesat launches on the big launchers.  If the market is big enough to support the kinds of launch rates the small launchers are predicating their business plans on (a hundred a year), it will support monthly dedicated cubesat launches on F9.  So it's a month, or less if the market is really big, for rideshare.

(Also, being able to do "speculative launch" for govt payloads, where you can "quick turn" a sensor/other in less than a week, and maybe it comes together and orbits, or it doesn't and you try again next week. No worry!)

The question is how much it's worth to get it every week instead of every month.  And, the other question is how long until the market is big enough the rideshare launches on F9 are every week.

Quote
And the bigger the market becomes, the more regularly-scheduled dedicated flights on big launchers.
Nope.

There will be few concentrations of bulk cubesat launches. Most will be primary payloads (including constellations) w/o cubesats. That's what the market forecasts say, but hey what do they know ...  ::)

It's simply not plausible that there will be hundreds of smallsats launched a year on small launchers but that there will be few dedicated flights of large launchers with lots of smallsats.

Quote
That means more flexibility from the low-cost alternative.
Which you get for free ... if you don't sit on the pad until you launch.

It's not free because you're paying much more to launch on the small launcher versus rideshare.

Quote
Vector and Rocket Lab and the rest are trying to be charter flights versus the airliner of SpaceX and eventually Blue Origin and others.
Wrong again.

RL is just a miniature SX. There's nothing that allows them to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months. Can't do "charter flights" with that few per annum - the costs don't work.

There's no reason at all to think Rocket Labs needs 3-6 months between flights.  You say they're a miniature SpaceX, but SpaceX is already launching twice a month from the same pad.

And look how hard its been for SX to gain cadence.

Yeah, lets look at that.  They have a much more complex system than Rocket Lab.  They have kept changing their vehicle.  They have simultaneously been working on cargo and crew delivery to the ISS in addition to launch, and they've been working on recovery of their first stage and fairings.

It looks to me like most of the things that slowed down SpaceX don't apply to Rocket Lab.

Even if they did, SpaceX eventually did get to multiple launches a month, so that would imply Rocket Lab will get there too.

IMHO RL isn't microlaunch. Yet the idea was to dominate microlaunch. Fail at domination.

We'll have to wait and see whether they fail or not, and who fails more, Vector or Rocket Lab.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 07/01/2017 08:05 PM
So the best evidence you can produce is that Sequoia Capital invested in it, so if my opinion differs from Sequoia, I'm ignorant?

The vast majority of posters on here are able to be respectful even when they strongly disagree with someone else's opinion.  You might want to pay attention and notice they don't feel the need to call people they disagree with ignorant.

The point is about reading the materials on the subject matter and attempting to comment intelligently.

Sorry to hurt your feelings, not my intent. More concerned that other don't get mislead by an unintentional ignorant remark.

Which turns most forums, unlike this one, into crap.

No, you still aren't getting it.  You calling me ignorant didn't hurt my feelings.  It made you look bad.  It made you seem like your feelings were hurt because you lowered the level of discourse by resorting to unnecessary insults.

Predicting the future of demand in an industry that doesn't even exist today is fundamentally subjective.  If you're so amazingly confident in one particular prediction, and so confident that not only it is correct, but it is so obviously correct that anyone who has a different opinion could only be ignorant, well, good for you, but the more intelligent readers of this forum will not be impressed by your claiming that.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 07/01/2017 08:09 PM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?
For a VC to accept it as a launch, yes, a significant non-refundable deposit. So, you don't ask the company about manifest, you ask the investor and believe what they say.

I have significant experience with VCs and I don't share your "believe what they say" attitude.

I've seen it happen all the time that VCs invest in companies claiming customers when those claimed customers have made no firm commitments at all, in spite of misleading press releases to the contrary.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/01/2017 08:13 PM
Immediacy is more important than cost, just ask the millions of people everyday using taxis instead of buses.
When comes to costs, every day a satellite sits on ground waiting for cheaper rideshare flight is another day of lost revenue. In mean time the same small startup satellite company needs to pay wages and dozens of other bills.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/01/2017 08:15 PM
I say Vector has a much greater shot of meeting a $100m valuation than RL does of a billion.

And just the fact that Vector doesn't dismiss reuse means they have more of a shot at reaching hundreds of launches than RL does (assuming RL doesn't change their tune on reuse, which is admittedly a big assumption).
You are talking about different phases - Rocket Lab is at Series D, Vector at Series A. 20m at 100m in an A round is massive. Rocket Lab's A series was nowhere near that level, I have the numbers somewhere.

Reuse is almost irrelevant at this scale. It's such a minor cost compared to labor.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/01/2017 08:27 PM
I've read a couple of statements from RL that suggest RLV is in their future. If they don't develop a RLV their competition will. In near term they need to get their ELV flying regularly.

These smallsat LV have more options for reuseability than likes of F9. Mid air recovery of complete booster is possible, for downrange recovery they just need a small ship with helipad.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/01/2017 08:48 PM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?

To put it another way: is there any cost to me as some random person for just "booking" a launch to save a spot for a payload I haven't and may never build? Or if I do have a payload, is there any reason I can't book on every microlaunch startup and just cancel all but one for no extra cost?

No rational business is going to prepay without some guarantee or a way out for non-performance. LoIs are prevalent in this sector but actual contracts are much rarer.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 09:15 PM
I say Vector has a much greater shot of meeting a $100m valuation than RL does of a billion.

And just the fact that Vector doesn't dismiss reuse means they have more of a shot at reaching hundreds of launches than RL does (assuming RL doesn't change their tune on reuse, which is admittedly a big assumption).
You are talking about different phases - Rocket Lab is at Series D, Vector at Series A. 20m at 100m in an A round is massive. Rocket Lab's A series was nowhere near that level, I have the numbers somewhere.

Reuse is almost irrelevant at this scale. It's such a minor cost compared to labor.
Wait, you don't think reuse reduces labor?? Do you think people are pursuing reuse to save on raw material costs??
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 07/01/2017 09:16 PM
I've read a couple of statements from RL that suggest RLV is in their future. If they don't develop a RLV their competition will. In near term they need to get their ELV flying regularly.

These smallsat LV have more options for reuseability than likes of F9. Mid air recovery of complete booster is possible, for downrange recovery they just need a small ship with helipad.

If you want to focus on reuse then you're kinda missing the point of these companies.  They're based on small cheap launch vehicles, some of which barely have enough fuel to get to orbit.  They're not going to do F9 style downrange landings.  Spending an extra $100M or more making their vehicle reusable could eat up years of profits or bankrupt the company, and they don't have billionaire founders.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 09:18 PM
Immediacy is more important than cost, just ask the millions of people everyday using taxis instead of buses.
When comes to costs, every day a satellite sits on ground waiting for cheaper rideshare flight is another day of lost revenue. In mean time the same small startup satellite company needs to pay wages and dozens of other bills.
People might feel differently if they were paying $100,000 per kg for their cab ride.

Besides, it remains to be seen that tiny payloads would launch more (and thus have greater availability), even though everyone takes it as some sort of unmentioned assumption. R7/Soyuz is the most launched architecture ever by a large margin and is a medium class rocket.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 09:25 PM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?

To put it another way: is there any cost to me as some random person for just "booking" a launch to save a spot for a payload I haven't and may never build? Or if I do have a payload, is there any reason I can't book on every microlaunch startup and just cancel all but one for no extra cost?

No rational business is going to prepay without some guarantee or a way out for non-performance. LoIs are prevalent in this sector but actual contracts are much rarer.
So you're saying these booked launches are refundable? That confirms the rumors I've been hearing that many of these microlaunch companies have the same payloads on their manifests.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/01/2017 10:21 PM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?

To put it another way: is there any cost to me as some random person for just "booking" a launch to save a spot for a payload I haven't and may never build? Or if I do have a payload, is there any reason I can't book on every microlaunch startup and just cancel all but one for no extra cost?

No rational business is going to prepay without some guarantee or a way out for non-performance. LoIs are prevalent in this sector but actual contracts are much rarer.
So you're saying these booked launches are refundable? That confirms the rumors I've been hearing that many of these microlaunch companies have the same payloads on their manifests.
I would actually be amazed if there was any money changing hands, except in the case of Rocket Lab.

If there are firms with enough cash to prepay 20-30% on several launchers in parallel I would be astounded.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/01/2017 10:22 PM
Vector may claim to be able to launch from small mobile launchers, but I'm *HIGHLY* skeptical. They aren't even be close to launching ANYTHING, so they can make all kinds of grand claims about being oh so much better and cheaper than RL (or anyone else) without having to back them up. But I won't have any of it. They need to show they can launch something up higher than a percentage point or two of the karman line, and *then* I will find them credible.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/01/2017 10:24 PM
RL is just a miniature SX. There's nothing that allows them to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months. Can't do "charter flights" with that few per annum - the costs don't work. And look how hard its been for SX to gain cadence.

I've got lots of respect for you, Space Ghost, but that is just a dumb statement, and you know it.
Are you going to call me ignorant now as well?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/01/2017 10:41 PM
I say Vector has a much greater shot of meeting a $100m valuation than RL does of a billion.

And just the fact that Vector doesn't dismiss reuse means they have more of a shot at reaching hundreds of launches than RL does (assuming RL doesn't change their tune on reuse, which is admittedly a big assumption).
You are talking about different phases - Rocket Lab is at Series D, Vector at Series A. 20m at 100m in an A round is massive. Rocket Lab's A series was nowhere near that level, I have the numbers somewhere.

Reuse is almost irrelevant at this scale. It's such a minor cost compared to labor.
Wait, you don't think reuse reduces labor??

Not initally. How much money do you think Spacex invested to get to re-use? Probably almost as much as it took to develop F9 to begin with?

If you look at Vector, what could they re-use? What would it cost to recover a stage from the ocean and rebuild it versus building a new one? This is a launcher with a price of $1.5m...the components can't be more than 300k to hit that price point.

And if you do the math, the flaw in their plan is easy to see - they NEED 50-100 launches a year to pay their overhead. If they fly the small one 10 times a year they will be toast. This is why they definitely need a bigger rocket long term, because each launch is more valuable....

And by the way - parachutes as proposed by Vector don't create re-use directly, they create spare parts and a mass penalty.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 10:57 PM
Sure, so don't invest much in reuse before you get expendable launches working. That's a perfectly fine approach, and it's the one SpaceX took although it's not the only option.

And yeah, if you're only launching a few times per year, reuse doesn't make sense. But these microlaunch companies are claiming HUNDREDS of launches per year.

If you really believe hundreds of launches per year, then you owe it to yourself and investors not to dismiss reuse out of hand as it'd drastically reduce labor.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 11:05 PM
Vector may claim to be able to launch from small mobile launchers, but I'm *HIGHLY* skeptical. They aren't even be close to launching ANYTHING, so they can make all kinds of grand claims about being oh so much better and cheaper than RL (or anyone else) without having to back them up. But I won't have any of it. They need to show they can launch something up higher than a percentage point or two of the karman line, and *then* I will find them credible.
What's so absurd about launching from a mobile launcher?

V2 did, and it was over twice the lift-off mass. And V2 also used a cryogenic propellant, so that's no kind of showstopper either.

It's a perfectly valid approach.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/01/2017 11:11 PM
Vector may claim to be able to launch from small mobile launchers, but I'm *HIGHLY* skeptical. They aren't even be close to launching ANYTHING, so they can make all kinds of grand claims about being oh so much better and cheaper than RL (or anyone else) without having to back them up. But I won't have any of it. They need to show they can launch something up higher than a percentage point or two of the karman line, and *then* I will find them credible.
What's so absurd about launching from a mobile launcher?

V2 did, and it was over twice the lift-off mass. And V2 also used a cryogenic propellant, so that's no kind of showstopper either.

It's a perfectly valid approach.

Let me rephrase: Is it theoretically possible? Yes. Will Vector be able to pull it off? Doubtful. If they are successful, they won't wheel around a mobile base and launch anywhere - it will be a few spots. Two at most, likely. And then it will be cheaper and more practical to have much of their infrastructure built in place.

If you believe otherwise, more power to you. People seem to project all kinds of wishful aspects to this launcher.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/01/2017 11:34 PM
RL is just a miniature SX. There's nothing that allows them to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months. Can't do "charter flights" with that few per annum - the costs don't work. And look how hard its been for SX to gain cadence.

I've got lots of respect for you, Space Ghost, but that is just a dumb statement, and you know it.
Are you going to call me ignorant now as well?

You're not making wild claims and you usually read before posting.

Here's the deal - I can't type hundred page posts, and I won't. "TL-DR" then happens and it doesn't matter.

What is going on here is a very different approach that I can only give in small posts/vignettes.

Absorb it and figure it own on your own, apart from the skepticism of "it working, it being adopted, it winning in the market". They are all different things.

People often misunderstand new things. I have little time/patience for ones that demand Socratic argument with small items when the big items are being willfully ignored. Can stop posting entirely if that is insufficient.

When SX started, they could not advance rapidly cadence. That's because you have to "learn the vehicle", all vehicles face this. When you can scale launches by having the equivalent of 10-20 pads concurrently, the learning could proceed faster. But not if you have one pad.

What's worse, is that if launch prices fall because the nature of the usage of much smaller launches causes higher flight frequency, then larger vehicles that launch the same payloads can't keep up. This is what those remarks are attempting to address.

That for the nature of the market opportunity, increasing cadence is significantly harder than with traditional missions. Because traditional missions preexisted with similar cost structures (it's also part of why Sower's spreadsheet is somewhat naive, but that's another matter). With disruption comes surprises.

In a nutshell, the reason that the prices don't add up is apart from the novelty of the new vehicle launch, the market volume rises at a lower price point. So it's likely that you might have to sell at a loss for too quickly/long before the volume * price - cost product turns the corner, unlike with our "cost as almost no object" traditional payloads currently.

So launches slow down, competition rises, ... and rate is externally capped by payload availability.

Getting this any better?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/01/2017 11:45 PM
RL is just a miniature SX. There's nothing that allows them to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months. Can't do "charter flights" with that few per annum - the costs don't work. And look how hard its been for SX to gain cadence.

I've got lots of respect for you, Space Ghost, but that is just a dumb statement, and you know it.
Are you going to call me ignorant now as well?

You're not making wild claims and you usually read before posting.

Here's the deal - I can't type hundred page posts, and I won't. "TL-DR" then happens and it doesn't matter.

What is going on here is a very different approach that I can only give in small posts/vignettes.

Absorb it and figure it own on your own, apart from the skepticism of "it working, it being adopted, it winning in the market". They are all different things.

People often misunderstand new things. I have little time/patience for ones that demand Socratic argument with small items when the big items are being willfully ignored. Can stop posting entirely if that is insufficient.

When SX started, they could not advance rapidly cadence. That's because you have to "learn the vehicle", all vehicles face this. When you can scale launches by having the equivalent of 10-20 pads concurrently, the learning could proceed faster. But not if you have one pad.

What's worse, is that if launch prices fall because the nature of the usage of much smaller launches causes higher flight frequency, then larger vehicles that launch the same payloads can't keep up. This is what those remarks are attempting to address.

That for the nature of the market opportunity, increasing cadence is significantly harder than with traditional missions. Because traditional missions preexisted with similar cost structures (it's also part of why Sower's spreadsheet is somewhat naive, but that's another matter). With disruption comes surprises.

In a nutshell, the reason that the prices don't add up is apart from the novelty of the new vehicle launch, the market volume rises at a lower price point. So it's likely that you might have to sell at a loss for too quickly/long before the volume * price - cost product turns the corner, unlike with our "cost as almost no object" traditional payloads currently.

So launches slow down, competition rises, ... and rate is externally capped by payload availability.

Getting this any better?

I read what you wrote. And nothing in it backs up your "There's nothing that allows them [RL] to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months" statement. THAT is what I am asking you to explain. What insight do you have into RL to make such a statement? Is it too Socratic of me to expect you to explain why RL could never possibly launch more than 4 times per year?

Or was it simply a statement made in the heat of the discussion? That's OK to. Just don't dig deeper.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/01/2017 11:49 PM
Is Vectorspace able to execute an orbital rocket, or are they still just kind of a hobby group? I don't know. I'm not trying to answer that question. They haven't PROVEN one way or the other so far.

But that's almost irrelevant to the broad-brush technical viability of their launch approach, something we can judge.

There's nothing intrinsically questionable about a mobile launch platform for a small rocket. You don't see them for large rockets for obvious reasons, but rockets up to 45 tons liftoff mass (9x as big as Vector-R) have been mobile launchable. It possibly could save some costs, but I don't see why it'd cost a lot more.

And then there's the long term plan. They make vague references to reuse. That's better than most.

The opposite is like SLS. These companies are professional and OUGHT to have no problem executing on a new launch vehicle. But even if SLS is successful, it'll never be transformative because even if fully successful it'll still be an expendable rocket that's intrinsically expensive due to the intrinsic costs of aerospace hardware (something that 3D metal printing and carbon fiber don't help).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 07/02/2017 12:08 AM
Is Vectorspace able to execute an orbital rocket, or are they still just kind of a hobby group? I don't know.

A good runway with funding, and a bunch of engineering intern positions just  became properly full time in last month or so, as soon as the deal closed. I'd say the transition has been made. Hope they will strike a good balance between very junior and seasoned talent ..
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/02/2017 12:11 AM
Excellent article on Planet. Will also post Planet thread.

www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-06-29/the-tiny-satellites-ushering-in-the-new-space-revolution
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/02/2017 12:18 AM
Is Vectorspace able to execute an orbital rocket, or are they still just kind of a hobby group? I don't know.

A good runway with funding, and a bunch of engineering intern positions just  became properly full time in last month or so, as soon as the deal closed. I'd say the transition has been made. Hope they will strike a good balance between very junior and seasoned talent ..
I meant ability to execute, although having proper full time staff is necessary, too.

Is the engineering lead and management team able to execute? And this must include enough competence to overcome major failures without getting derailed.

It's not a foregone conclusion even with funding. There have been multiple failed alt-space companies before.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/02/2017 12:31 AM
I read what you wrote. And nothing in it backs up your "There's nothing that allows them [RL] to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months" statement. THAT is what I am asking you to explain. What insight do you have into RL to make such a statement? Is it too Socratic of me to expect you to explain why RL could never possibly launch more than 4 times per year?

Or was it simply a statement made in the heat of the discussion? That's OK to. Just don't dig deeper.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, that you are genuinely trying to understand what I'm attempting to communicate.

(So now interact with what I have wrote and give me specifically what you don't get.)



These are posts. They are intentionally compact. However not everything fits into one.

So yes, they don't contain everything. Give me the benefit of the doubt, and specifically assert the contradiction. instead of simply repeating what I said.

One more time - yes they can make it work. Yes you can gradually improve flight rate. Yes you alternatively could improve the vehicle.

Ask yourself this question - "what is the market for small payload launches?"  You'll find it isn't large. And it isn't expected to grow much if at all.

Now - Sequoia Capital says there's a market that justified a 100M valuation. They don't just pull that out of their a$$. Quite real.

How do you get from "almost nothing" to "something big"? Turns out you do so ... by timing the market. The right thing at the right time.

So what I'm attempting to communicate is that to keep filling the manifest while you increase cadence ... hits a dead zone, where you have to wait for payloads/growth. But the price point for the growth you have to reach ... needs to afford the vehicle/launch. "Chicken and egg" dependence.

Until RL gets by that (which they might), they won't fly as frequently as they would like, or with as much return as they will need (same thing happened to SX, just less of a problem).

So technically you can march things faster, it is the business pace that needs to step in time that becomes the issue.

Which is one of the reasons SX didn't continue with Falcon 1. It was too much trouble for what it was worth.

Why would you think that any of the other small LV's wouldn't have the same, exact trouble.

Thanks, I do appreciate your reply. As for the limited market - yes I have been a long time skeptic about the size of the smallsat launch market, so I'm not bullish on this at all. As for the numbers, I don't agree... I think you are pulling some number out of very thin air.

To counteract the $100 million figure, RL recently raised $75 million and apparently RL is now valued (by some) at $1 billion. ( https://www.spaceintelreport.com/arianespace-valuation-500-million-rocket-lab-1-billion-new-space-thinking/ ) Excessive? Heck yes.  ;D  But they (and their investors) are clearly working from different market assumptions than the $100m valuation you cited.

Technically there is no reason that RL (or Vector) could launch very frequently, even if only using one pad. Will the market support hundreds, dozens, or zero launches per year? We are hopefully about to find out.

But if I was a gambling man (and had money to gamble) ;), assuming RL gets their launch vehicle operating at advertised price, I think it is very likely they can find customers for much more than 4 payloads per year. If more operators enter the market, then things could get dicey.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/02/2017 02:27 AM
The problem is that at 4 payloads per year, they may cost a lot more than $5m per launch. Then you get into the Pegasus death spiral, where you really end up with even less than that and so have to charge like $20m per launch...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/02/2017 06:07 AM
Sure, so don't invest much in reuse before you get expendable launches working. That's a perfectly fine approach, and it's the one SpaceX took although it's not the only option.

And yeah, if you're only launching a few times per year, reuse doesn't make sense. But these microlaunch companies are claiming HUNDREDS of launches per year.

If you really believe hundreds of launches per year, then you owe it to yourself and investors not to dismiss reuse out of hand as it'd drastically reduce labor.
The subtle point here is that they are claiming they will do hundreds of launches not because they know how to do it, or because the market will support it, but because they NEED high volume launches to make money. This is the key problem with very small, cheap rockets like Vector.

Vector says they will employ 200 people.    That's an overhead of $20m. Plus the general expenses, say $30m total. Each vehicle is priced at $1.5m, and probably has direct variable costs of around $1m, including components, licences, fuel, transport, tracking costs, etc. So you have 500k per launch to feed the overhead -> 30m / 500k = 60 launches to break even. That's a very rough calculation, but it illustrates the core issue for Vector.

So what happens if they cannot get to 60+ launches p.a.? And let's recall that is launches, not payloads - each launch will contain 5-10 payloads, which means finding 300-600 sats p.a. What if they can't find payloads or they can't fly them at a rate of once a week? Can you imagine be the logistics of that setup?

Rocket Lab is smarter -  their model is different and less sensitive.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: HMXHMX on 07/02/2017 06:18 AM
Sure, so don't invest much in reuse before you get expendable launches working. That's a perfectly fine approach, and it's the one SpaceX took although it's not the only option.

And yeah, if you're only launching a few times per year, reuse doesn't make sense. But these microlaunch companies are claiming HUNDREDS of launches per year.

If you really believe hundreds of launches per year, then you owe it to yourself and investors not to dismiss reuse out of hand as it'd drastically reduce labor.
The subtle point here is that they are claiming they will do hundreds of launches not because they know how to do it, or because the market will support it, but because they NEED high volume launches to make money. This is the key problem with very small, cheap rockets like Vector.

Vector says they will employ 200 people.    That's an overhead of $20m. Plus the general expenses, say $30m total. Each vehicle is priced at $1.5m, and probably has direct variable costs of around $1m, including components, licences, fuel, transport, tracking costs, etc. So you have 500k per launch to feed the overhead -> 30m / 500k = 60 launches to break even. That's a very rough calculation, but it illustrates the core issue for Vector.

So what happens if they cannot get to 60+ launches p.a.? And let's recall that is launches, not payloads - each launch will contain 5-10 payloads, which means finding 300-600 sats p.a. What if they can't find payloads or they can't fly them at a rate of once a week? Can you imagine be the logistics of that setup?

Rocket Lab is smarter -  their model is different and less sensitive.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk



A $100K labor man-year is optimistically low; while I expect they could do better than an "OldSpace" man-year (~$250K) I expect their average to be at least $150K/year/person.  But that just increases the overhead problem and supports your analysis.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/02/2017 06:47 AM
Sure, so don't invest much in reuse before you get expendable launches working. That's a perfectly fine approach, and it's the one SpaceX took although it's not the only option.

And yeah, if you're only launching a few times per year, reuse doesn't make sense. But these microlaunch companies are claiming HUNDREDS of launches per year.

If you really believe hundreds of launches per year, then you owe it to yourself and investors not to dismiss reuse out of hand as it'd drastically reduce labor.
The subtle point here is that they are claiming they will do hundreds of launches not because they know how to do it, or because the market will support it, but because they NEED high volume launches to make money. This is the key problem with very small, cheap rockets like Vector.

Vector says they will employ 200 people.    That's an overhead of $20m. Plus the general expenses, say $30m total. Each vehicle is priced at $1.5m, and probably has direct variable costs of around $1m, including components, licences, fuel, transport, tracking costs, etc. So you have 500k per launch to feed the overhead -> 30m / 500k = 60 launches to break even. That's a very rough calculation, but it illustrates the core issue for Vector.

So what happens if they cannot get to 60+ launches p.a.? And let's recall that is launches, not payloads - each launch will contain 5-10 payloads, which means finding 300-600 sats p.a. What if they can't find payloads or they can't fly them at a rate of once a week? Can you imagine be the logistics of that setup?

Rocket Lab is smarter -  their model is different and less sensitive.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk



A $100K labor man-year is optimistically low; while I expect they could do better than an "OldSpace" man-year (~$250K) I expect their average to be at least $150K/year/person.  But that just increases the overhead problem and supports your analysis.
Yes. And even EXTREME volume doesn't create a wildly successful business. If we take your 150k figure, they now need 80 launches to break even, and 100 to *gross* $10m in profit.

That is a deeply unattractive business model that is terribly exposed to demand - they basically need to win the entire global smallsat demand to make money, and they have to feed that dragon twice a week... the sales force will be bigger than the engineering team.

This is why bigger rockets are better business - you make more money per launch to feed the overhead, as you can access higher value payloads, and the cost model changes for the better as well: even a single 1U payload needs contracts, logistics, integration, campaign teams - the same effort you would expend for a single 100kg payload, but now x 10 per launch, while each is paying 1/10th (assuming no middleman taking his 30% cut) - which drives increased costs and process overhead for a very small launcher. Scale that to TWICE A WEEK? Come on.

This also ignores the government. So far Vector has gone under the radar, with in effect amateur launch waivers. But now they will need FAA orbital licences. If you could get the FAA to issue an orbital licences twice a *month* you would be dramatically changing the industry... They just don't move fast, and for very good reasons.

The economics and logistics of volume in the low end business are crippling. This is why I think anyone talking about high volumes is crazy.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 07/03/2017 12:51 AM
I read what you wrote. And nothing in it backs up your "There's nothing that allows them [RL] to increase cadence beyond a launch 3-6 months" statement. THAT is what I am asking you to explain. What insight do you have into RL to make such a statement? Is it too Socratic of me to expect you to explain why RL could never possibly launch more than 4 times per year?

Or was it simply a statement made in the heat of the discussion? That's OK to. Just don't dig deeper.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, that you are genuinely trying to understand what I'm attempting to communicate.

(So now interact with what I have wrote and give me specifically what you don't get.)



These are posts. They are intentionally compact. However not everything fits into one.

So yes, they don't contain everything. Give me the benefit of the doubt, and specifically assert the contradiction. instead of simply repeating what I said.

One more time - yes they can make it work. Yes you can gradually improve flight rate. Yes you alternatively could improve the vehicle.

Ask yourself this question - "what is the market for small payload launches?"  You'll find it isn't large. And it isn't expected to grow much if at all.

Now - Sequoia Capital says there's a market that justified a 100M valuation. They don't just pull that out of their a$$. Quite real.

How do you get from "almost nothing" to "something big"? Turns out you do so ... by timing the market. The right thing at the right time.

So what I'm attempting to communicate is that to keep filling the manifest while you increase cadence ... hits a dead zone, where you have to wait for payloads/growth. But the price point for the growth you have to reach ... needs to afford the vehicle/launch. "Chicken and egg" dependence.

Until RL gets by that (which they might), they won't fly as frequently as they would like, or with as much return as they will need (same thing happened to SX, just less of a problem).

So technically you can march things faster, it is the business pace that needs to step in time that becomes the issue.

Which is one of the reasons SX didn't continue with Falcon 1. It was too much trouble for what it was worth.

Why would you think that any of the other small LV's wouldn't have the same, exact trouble.

Thanks, I do appreciate your reply. As for the limited market - yes I have been a long time skeptic about the size of the smallsat launch market, so I'm not bullish on this at all. As for the numbers, I don't agree... I think you are pulling some number out of very thin air.

To counteract the $100 million figure, RL recently raised $75 million and apparently RL is now valued (by some) at $1 billion. ( https://www.spaceintelreport.com/arianespace-valuation-500-million-rocket-lab-1-billion-new-space-thinking/ ) Excessive? Heck yes.  ;D  But they (and their investors) are clearly working from different market assumptions than the $100m valuation you cited.

Technically there is no reason that RL (or Vector) could launch very frequently, even if only using one pad. Will the market support hundreds, dozens, or zero launches per year? We are hopefully about to find out.

But if I was a gambling man (and had money to gamble) ;), assuming RL gets their launch vehicle operating at advertised price, I think it is very likely they can find customers for much more than 4 payloads per year. If more operators enter the market, then things could get dicey.

The problem is that Vector is at best 3rd to the party behind RL and VO. I'll be amazed if they are in commercial service within 2 years, they are probably 3-4 years out if things go well. That's a big gap to make up and doesn't even count potential foreign competitors. I'm not sure what would compel a company to book on an unproven rocket instead of one in service if RL and VO get there a couple years ahead.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/03/2017 01:33 AM
$5m vs $1.5m may be part of the reason.

$5m is high enough cost that RL is potentially able to be beat by SpaceX or Blue Origin in a dedicated, fully reusable launch.

$1.5m is far lower, probably too low for either SpaceX or Blue Origin to do a dedicated launch even if fully reusable (unless Blue makes New Shepard into a smallsat launcher).

$1.5m is almost low enough to find entirely with SBIR paper-study money.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 07/03/2017 01:44 AM
$5m vs $1.5m may be part of the reason.

$5m is high enough cost that RL is potentially able to be beat by SpaceX or Blue Origin in a dedicated, fully reusable launch.

$1.5m is far lower, probably too low for either SpaceX or Blue Origin to do a dedicated launch even if fully reusable (unless Blue makes New Shepard into a smallsat launcher).

$1.5m is almost low enough to find entirely with SBIR paper-study money.

$1.5M for 28kg to 500km SSO. That's a really small satellite. Any company with something that small isn't likely to have money to tie up booking a rocket that will launch in 3-4 years.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 07/03/2017 02:26 AM
Cheap. Fast. Reliable.

Choose two.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: meekGee on 07/03/2017 03:46 AM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?
For a VC to accept it as a launch, yes, a significant non-refundable deposit. So, you don't ask the company about manifest, you ask the investor and believe what they say.

I have significant experience with VCs and I don't share your "believe what they say" attitude.

I've seen it happen all the time that VCs invest in companies claiming customers when those claimed customers have made no firm commitments at all, in spite of misleading press releases to the contrary.

Exactly so.  The VC decision making process is influenced by factors that have nothing to do with the expected ROI, ego being just one of them.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/03/2017 10:35 AM
$5m vs $1.5m may be part of the reason.

$5m is high enough cost that RL is potentially able to be beat by SpaceX or Blue Origin in a dedicated, fully reusable launch.

$1.5m is far lower, probably too low for either SpaceX or Blue Origin to do a dedicated launch even if fully reusable (unless Blue makes New Shepard into a smallsat launcher).

$1.5m is almost low enough to find entirely with SBIR paper-study money.

$1.5M for 28kg to 500km SSO. That's a really small satellite. Any company with something that small isn't likely to have money to tie up booking a rocket that will launch in 3-4 years.
That's how I feel about the entire smallsat market. But I just am taking the argument and taking it to its conclusion.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chalmer on 07/03/2017 11:21 AM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?
For a VC to accept it as a launch, yes, a significant non-refundable deposit. So, you don't ask the company about manifest, you ask the investor and believe what they say.

I have significant experience with VCs and I don't share your "believe what they say" attitude.

I've seen it happen all the time that VCs invest in companies claiming customers when those claimed customers have made no firm commitments at all, in spite of misleading press releases to the contrary.

Exactly so.  The VC decision making process is influenced by factors that have nothing to do with the expected ROI, ego being just one of them.

Expecting a VC investment to be something even close to a guarantee of success would be very foolhardy.

I remember in uni, one VC fond guy saying that they only made money on something like 10 percent of their investments. If not less. The point was that when they bet right, the payout was massive compared, to what they lost on the rest.

In other words they make a lot of long shot investments that are high risk, high return.

Lets say there is even a few percents chance that Vector will be a new SpaceX. Then the probability adjusted return of 20M investment will be something like times 10-15 times that.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: meekGee on 07/03/2017 01:48 PM
Are these booked launches with a significant non-refundable deposit, or are these just the same payloads that everyone in the industry is also "booking" via a memorandum of understanding?
For a VC to accept it as a launch, yes, a significant non-refundable deposit. So, you don't ask the company about manifest, you ask the investor and believe what they say.

I have significant experience with VCs and I don't share your "believe what they say" attitude.

I've seen it happen all the time that VCs invest in companies claiming customers when those claimed customers have made no firm commitments at all, in spite of misleading press releases to the contrary.

Exactly so.  The VC decision making process is influenced by factors that have nothing to do with the expected ROI, ego being just one of them.

Expecting a VC investment to be something even close to a guarantee of success would be very foolhardy.

I remember in uni, one VC fond guy saying that they only made money on something like 10 percent of their investments. If not less. The point was that when they bet right, the payout was massive compared, to what they lost on the rest.

In other words they make a lot of long shot investments that are high risk, high return.

Lets say there is even a few percents chance that Vector will be a new SpaceX. Then the probability adjusted return of 20M investment will be something like times 10-15 times that.
Not every foolish investment is "high risk"....  And where is the "high return"?

I'm thinking of Austin Powers holding on 5 at BlackJack and proclaiming that he, too, "likes to live dangerously"...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gosnold on 07/03/2017 06:42 PM
$5m vs $1.5m may be part of the reason.

$5m is high enough cost that RL is potentially able to be beat by SpaceX or Blue Origin in a dedicated, fully reusable launch.

$1.5m is far lower, probably too low for either SpaceX or Blue Origin to do a dedicated launch even if fully reusable (unless Blue makes New Shepard into a smallsat launcher).

$1.5m is almost low enough to find entirely with SBIR paper-study money.

$1.5M for 28kg to 500km SSO. That's a really small satellite. Any company with something that small isn't likely to have money to tie up booking a rocket that will launch in 3-4 years.

That makes 53k$/kg for Vector and 33k$/kg for Rocket Labs, so RL is cheaper if cheaper if you launch more than 84kg in the same plane. That's about 15 3U cubesats (using Doves as a reference point). So for constellations of cubesats with many satellites per plane, RL is better. For constellations with a handful of cubesats per plane, Vector would have the advantage. Vector could also make the plane operational earlier, by using a different phasing for each launch, to make it quicker for each sat to reach its spot in the plane.

However, Vector cannot launch smallsats, whereas RL can. Since smallsat around 100kg are very interesting for Earth Observation for instance, that's giving up a big part of the market.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/03/2017 09:05 PM
So RL has to rely on the same sort of arguments that medium rockets use. It's gotta hope there are limits to Moore's Law's miniaturization of satellites.

If you take RL's arguments seriously, Vector sounds even better (on paper).

RL makes sense only if you take the argument /partway/ and trust that they found some sweetspot such that you can't profitably make satellites any smaller AND that you won't be able to cluster even more to give you access to much cheaper-per-kg medium launchers. Oh, and that full rapid reuse (on any size launcher really) also won't work.

I wouldn't invest in either RL or Vector. But are we going to take the microlaunch thesis seriously or not?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Dao Angkan on 07/03/2017 09:11 PM
SSTL's low cost Earth Observation demonstrator "Carbonite (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34315725)" was only 80kg with the goal to reduce that to 50kg. Earth-i (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40088006) plans to launch a pathfinder later this year, but the actual constellation will launch in batches of five per plane.

So Earth Observation satellites are getting smaller, but it's likely that much of the market will be constellations of multiple birds per launch.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/03/2017 09:18 PM
... but it's likely that much of the market will be constellations of multiple birds per launch.
If you're going to make that kind of argument, then launch on a Soyuz or RTLS Falcon 9 at a great discount per kg.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Dao Angkan on 07/03/2017 09:23 PM
... but it's likely that much of the market will be constellations of multiple birds per launch.
If you're going to make that kind of argument, then launch on a Soyuz or RTLS Falcon 9 at a great discount per kg.

In the case of Earth-i, they want to launch to specific planes, 5 sats @ 50kg each per plane. Maybe they can rideshare, but a dedicated small sat launcher would be useful.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/03/2017 10:28 PM
The problem is that Vector is at best 3rd to the party behind RL and VO. I'll be amazed if they are in commercial service within 2 years, they are probably 3-4 years out if things go well. That's a big gap to make up and doesn't even count potential foreign competitors.

I think the foreign competition is a major issue too. They are third to the party in the USA. If there was a European launcher, or a Chinese one, where would local payloads naturally migrate? There are already a couple of contracts signed for Landspace for example, and at least 2-3 European launcher projects bubbling away. China is not so bad because geopolitics, but a Euro launcher in this class would be a serious issue for a 3rd/4th placed US-based launcher.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/04/2017 12:41 AM
... but it's likely that much of the market will be constellations of multiple birds per launch.
If you're going to make that kind of argument, then launch on a Soyuz or RTLS Falcon 9 at a great discount per kg.

In the case of Earth-i, they want to launch to specific planes, 5 sats @ 50kg each per plane. Maybe they can rideshare, but a dedicated small sat launcher would be useful.
They can also let orbital precession take care of distributing them to different planes.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/04/2017 02:12 AM
I think the 1-2 ton market, if they can get to the $15m range, will be more useful.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 07/04/2017 03:05 AM
This is all great and i hope Thiel's and Noseks of the world stop by for some great investment advice ( they have put tens of millions into a company with no orbital flights and a 165kg payload capacity rocket before, after all ), but people wading into this thread will not find much about Vector Space Systems specifically over the last couple of pages.

Maybe the nanosat launch market deserves its own thread.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 07/04/2017 03:11 AM
Now for some on topic stuff, Cantrell was on tmro.tv (https://www.tmro.tv/) last weekend


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC24tQ0e_u4?t=1415

EDIT:
They also posted a nice team timeline recently, going back to '96

https://vectorspacesystems.com/timeline/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Dao Angkan on 07/04/2017 08:22 PM
... but it's likely that much of the market will be constellations of multiple birds per launch.
If you're going to make that kind of argument, then launch on a Soyuz or RTLS Falcon 9 at a great discount per kg.

In the case of Earth-i, they want to launch to specific planes, 5 sats @ 50kg each per plane. Maybe they can rideshare, but a dedicated small sat launcher would be useful.
They can also let orbital precession take care of distributing them to different planes.

Could you elaborate on that? If they all launch to the same orbit wouldn't they precess in the same way? I thought that plane changes were expensive in terms of delta v, something that will be very limited on a 50kg craft.

Incidentally, this is academic with regards to Earth-i, as they only want to launch the first plane and then see what the level of demand is before launching more batches to other planes.

And sorry for off topic, but I think that the debate about miniaturisation of Earth observation satellites, and could they be brought within the capabilities of Vector within the next few years to be of relevance with regards to questions of potential demand for a Vector class launcher.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: envy887 on 07/04/2017 11:29 PM
... but it's likely that much of the market will be constellations of multiple birds per launch.
If you're going to make that kind of argument, then launch on a Soyuz or RTLS Falcon 9 at a great discount per kg.

In the case of Earth-i, they want to launch to specific planes, 5 sats @ 50kg each per plane. Maybe they can rideshare, but a dedicated small sat launcher would be useful.
They can also let orbital precession take care of distributing them to different planes.

Could you elaborate on that? If they all launch to the same orbit wouldn't they precess in the same way? I thought that plane changes were expensive in terms of delta v, something that will be very limited on a 50kg craft.

Incidentally, this is academic with regards to Earth-i, as they only want to launch the first plane and then see what the level of demand is before launching more batches to other planes.

Orbital precession is altitude dependent, so if you have time the cost of changing right ascension is merely change altitude, precessing faster or slower for a while, then correcting altitude. This is how Iridium move birds from plane to plane.

Changing inclination is much more difficult, but most constellations use multiple planes at any given inclination. So the constellation-launching advantage of a small-sat launcher is diminished relative to a larger launcher which can fill multiple planes in one launch more cheaply.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Dao Angkan on 07/04/2017 11:41 PM
Thanks for your explanation ... plane Vs inclination. So if a big competitor came in, and launched 100+ 50kg sats on one Falcon/Soyuz, they could cover the globe in one launch. I understand Robotbeat's concern about small sat launchers now .... the big boys can just come in and pull the rug from under your feet at any time.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/05/2017 12:47 PM
Thanks for your explanation ... plane Vs inclination. So if a big competitor came in, and launched 100+ 50kg sats on one Falcon/Soyuz, they could cover the globe in one launch. I understand Robotbeat's concern about small sat launchers now .... the big boys can just come in and pull the rug from under your feet at any time.
Most of smallsat cubesat companies can't afford a F9 and fill it,  even if they could it would place all they eggs in one basket. With Vector or RL they can launch a few satellites and start earning revenue sooner.

As for ridesharing, Spaceflights F9 is 2yrs overdue, enough time to bankrupt most startups.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lar on 07/05/2017 06:21 PM
Although it's been a few days, and major surgery is a lot of work, there was way too much personal stuff in the last page or so... calling people ignorant isn't helpful. Nor is biting back, even if the post is worth biting back about... I edited a post or two and then gave it up as a bad job.

Play the ball, not the man, and keep the excellence quotient up, please... And if that doesn't work, don't start a brawl, call the refs. (press the report to mod link)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Dao Angkan on 07/05/2017 10:04 PM
Thanks for your explanation ... plane Vs inclination. So if a big competitor came in, and launched 100+ 50kg sats on one Falcon/Soyuz, they could cover the globe in one launch. I understand Robotbeat's concern about small sat launchers now .... the big boys can just come in and pull the rug from under your feet at any time.
Most of smallsat cubesat companies can't afford a F9 and fill it,  even if they could it would place all they eggs in one basket. With Vector or RL they can launch a few satellites and start earning revenue sooner.

As for ridesharing, Spaceflights F9 is 2yrs overdue, enough time to bankrupt most startups.

I should have specified with regards to Earth observation constellations ... I see this as the next big thing with regards to space, which cheaper/smaller satellites and cheaper launchers will enable. Live HD video coverage of any point on Earth at anytime .... SSTL sats 1m resolution, bigger players? Possibly higher res, that capability would seem to open up whole new potential industries.

Could Vector take a piece of that pie? Maybe if the sats got small enough, they could replace a failure, but for initial launch? RL or VO would seem like potential options (India's PSLV might be more likely if the usual new vehicle issues happen). For a big player launching a whole constellation in one hit? I guess they have to wait for the smaller players to prove the market before they invest that much.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/10/2017 05:50 PM
Quote
Alex Rodriguez Named Vice President of Government and External Affairs At Vector
July 10, 2017 By Shaun Coleman

Sharing some exciting news today that Alex Rodriguez has joined Vector as our new Vice President of Government and External Affairs. Alex will be leading all facets of external relations including with our Government partners during a time of accelerated company growth. He joins Vector from the Arizona Technology Council where he served as Vice President and led the Arizona Aerospace, Aviation and Defense CEO Network.

As Vice President of Government and External Affairs, Alex brings over two decades of experience in business development, government affairs, and strategic planning to Vector. Alex has held leadership roles in three Fortune 500 companies including Raytheon, where he led a half billion dollars spend portfolio in supply chain management. A former Term Member of the New York based Council on Foreign Relations, Alex served as a U.S. Department of Defense International Policy Advisor, Country Director and Special Assistant at the Pentagon, entering federal service by appointment as a Presidential Management Fellow. Alex served as a Captain in the U.S. Army for a tour-of-duty in support of Operation Joint Forge, the U.S. Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

As a seasoned leader in many diverse capacities, Alex’s unique expertise makes him a perfect fit for Vector and we are thrilled to have him onboard. Thank you for joining us in welcoming Alex to the Vector team!

https://vectorspacesystems.com/alex-rodriguez-named-vice-president-government-external-affairs-vector/ (https://vectorspacesystems.com/alex-rodriguez-named-vice-president-government-external-affairs-vector/)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Jim Davis on 07/10/2017 07:03 PM
Quote
Alex Rodriguez Named Vice President of Government and External Affairs At Vector

I didn't know A-rod was a space enthusiast.

Sorry, couldn't resist. It won't happen again.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/13/2017 07:18 PM
Quote
Stay tuned...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/885578459799461888 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/885578459799461888)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/13/2017 08:28 PM
Quote
Success! Video to follow...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/885587563129458688 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/885587563129458688)

Quote
Successful test of @vectorspacesys 1st stage engine made in #Tucson manufacturing facility w/ new AL #3Dprinting injector & spark igniter

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/885593016332832768 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/885593016332832768)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/14/2017 10:34 PM
A short test:

Quote
Vid of 1st stage engine test funded by @DARPA & @NASA_Marshall 1st use of spark igniter on 5k-lbf engine to improve performance & efficiency

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/885984844945084416 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/885984844945084416)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Tomness on 07/15/2017 12:00 AM
Note the size of the feeds and the run tanks.

Still not full size full  duration burn?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 07/15/2017 08:08 AM
Note the size of the feeds and the run tanks.

That nozzle is some high quality carbon fiber construction though.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/15/2017 08:51 PM
Still not full size full  duration burn?

Not unless you were only planning to lift about 100ft off the deck... oh...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/15/2017 09:05 PM
That nozzle is some high quality carbon fiber construction though.

I am genuinely not sure if you are being sarcastic or not... Are you joking?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 07/15/2017 11:26 PM
That nozzle is some high quality carbon fiber construction though.

I am genuinely not sure if you are being sarcastic or not... Are you joking?

C'mon look at it.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 07/16/2017 12:11 AM
That nozzle is some high quality carbon fiber construction though.

I am genuinely not sure if you are being sarcastic or not... Are you joking?

C'mon look at it.

This sniping gets a bit annoying. The least you could do to contribute to the thread is post what you are looking at and talking about

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 07/16/2017 06:38 AM
That nozzle is some high quality carbon fiber construction though.

I am genuinely not sure if you are being sarcastic or not... Are you joking?

C'mon look at it.

This sniping gets a bit annoying. The least you could do to contribute to the thread is post what you are looking at and talking about

I just zoomed in on one of the pics posted but yeah those are better shots.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/23/2017 09:29 PM
Quote
First hint of an upcoming low-altitude test launch by Vector from the site of a proposed Georgia spaceport.

Quote
T-minus 10 days... @CamdenSpaceport
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/889224527233896448

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/889229181439160320
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/24/2017 07:32 AM
So that would make it August 4 for the launch.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: tvg98 on 07/25/2017 02:40 AM
Quote
Jim Cantrell‏
@jamesncantrell

Vector-R Block 0.002 shipped out from @vectorspacesys today for launch in 10 days from @CamdenSpaceport.  Stay tuned

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/889661857526464512 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/889661857526464512)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/25/2017 03:03 AM
Block 0.002? This means that it will be another low altitude fixed engine flight, I presume?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: IanThePineapple on 07/25/2017 03:07 AM
Block 0.002? This means that it will be another low altitude fixed engine flight, I presume?

Since it's not another block 0.001 it's probably slightly upgraded from the previous model. Pure speculation though.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/25/2017 04:59 AM
Block 0.002? This means that it will be another low altitude fixed engine flight, I presume?

Since it's not another block 0.001 it's probably slightly upgraded from the previous model. Pure speculation though.
Either that or they are going to do 999 test flights before they reach 1.0. ;)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/25/2017 04:49 PM
Block 0.002? This means that it will be another low altitude fixed engine flight, I presume?

Since it's not another block 0.001 it's probably slightly upgraded from the previous model. Pure speculation though.
Either that or they are going to do 999 test flights before they reach 1.0. ;)

It wouldn't surprise me at this point. Vector's fun-raising strategy is pretty novel, using every small launch as a fun-raising opportunity. Which may work fine for this upcoming launch... But eventually even the gullible investors will catch on if no real progress is demonstrated.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 07/25/2017 06:05 PM
[in response to someone asking what's new on this flight]
Quote
Jim Cantrell
@jamesncantrell
New flight computers, code upgrades, AFTS, upgraded engines.  Same FAA license restricting altitude.  Customer payloads.  New launch site
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 07/25/2017 06:32 PM
Their workshop really doesn't look like i would think serious rocket manufacturing would look like...

In the picture above i see at least 3 different angle grinders within 3m of flight hardware, none of them with a guard on it.

And there's a cut-in-half bottle catching fluids dripping from the rocket, i guess.

Compared to what we see from RocketLab, it's night and day.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/25/2017 09:29 PM
Their workshop really doesn't look like i would think serious rocket manufacturing would look like...

In the picture above i see at least 3 different angle grinders within 3m of flight hardware, none of them with a guard on it.

And there's a cut-in-half bottle catching fluids dripping from the rocket, i guess.

Compared to what we see from RocketLab, it's night and day.
It is really garage based - the garage is Jim Cantrell's race car garage as you can see in old photo where they had the laurels and photos lining the walls. I think there was even a race car in there at the beginning (under the polythene sheet on axle stands).

(http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/files/entryimages/13925890_277190145985261_6666894334636149440_o.jpg)

According to documents on the internet they are proposing a build-and-lease back deal to developers of their new world headquarters in Arizona, so I am sure they will spend some of that Sequoia money soon on better premises. And with Sequoia on board they have a fair shot at getting all the money they need down the line.

It is truly astonishing that this company hasn't been rumbled yet - the fact that Cantrell is an advisor to his two major announced customers York and Iceye should raise eyebrows at least - but they continue to raise money and capture mindshare.

I genuinely think that some amateur teams like Copenhagen Suborbitals have a much higher grade of technology but for some reason people treat these guys like they already built a Saturn V and personally escorted Armstrong to the surface of the moon...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 07/25/2017 10:17 PM
I genuinely think that some amateur teams like Copenhagen Suborbitals have a much higher grade of technology but for some reason people treat these guys like they already built a Saturn V and personally escorted Armstrong to the surface of the moon...


I think the name Cantrell carries it pretty far, given he's associated with SpaceX, and "also played key roles in the development of Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella) and has had developmental roles in numerous venture funded space efforts including Rocket Lab, Planet, Black Sky and Spaceflight."

To an investor that's not an aerospace engineer through and through that's a big selling point. Given most of these VC's investments have been in software it seems.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LooksFlyable on 07/25/2017 10:29 PM
Their workshop really doesn't look like i would think serious rocket manufacturing would look like...

In the picture above i see at least 3 different angle grinders within 3m of flight hardware, none of them with a guard on it.

And there's a cut-in-half bottle catching fluids dripping from the rocket, i guess.

Compared to what we see from RocketLab, it's night and day.

Yeah, but RocketLab is apparently valued at $1 billion dollars already. They also likely got hefty deposits for launches long in advance which really helped them. I personally love the garage build rocket devs. They are more inspiring to me and I think to the average person too. The mindset that only billionaires can do it is toxic to space progress and innovations. We barely just broke down the barrier that only governments can do it, so I really want one of the little guys to make it, and set down a blueprint for others to follow, so that mentality that you have to be a billionaire to do it doesn't become the next imaginary roadblock that sets in.


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/25/2017 11:21 PM
Quote
Jim what do you charge to launch a single cube sat?
https://twitter.com/sandymazza/status/889855529928933376

Quote
We have a third party partner who is going to do this for us and it should be about 250K for a 3U cubesat
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/889952615181635584
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/26/2017 01:26 AM
Their workshop really doesn't look like i would think serious rocket manufacturing would look like...

In the picture above i see at least 3 different angle grinders within 3m of flight hardware, none of them with a guard on it.

And there's a cut-in-half bottle catching fluids dripping from the rocket, i guess.

Compared to what we see from RocketLab, it's night and day.

Yeah, but RocketLab is apparently valued at $1 billion dollars already. They also likely got hefty deposits for launches long in advance which really helped them. I personally love the garage build rocket devs. They are more inspiring to me and I think to the average person too. The mindset that only billionaires can do it is toxic to space progress and innovations. We barely just broke down the barrier that only governments can do it, so I really want one of the little guys to make it, and set down a blueprint for others to follow, so that mentality that you have to be a billionaire to do it doesn't become the next imaginary roadblock that sets in.
Bezo and Musk were not born billionaires. Musk has become a billionaire because of SpaceX and Tesla.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 07/26/2017 03:29 AM
Bezo and Musk were not born billionaires. Musk has become a billionaire because of SpaceX and Tesla.

..and nearly lost everything on more than one occasion.

..and if RocketLab really is worth $1billion, it isn't because Peter Beck found the money just lying around somewhere.  That guy has more frequent-flyer miles under his belt than I'll ever earn in two lifetimes!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 07/26/2017 04:15 AM
I genuinely think that some amateur teams like Copenhagen Suborbitals have a much higher grade of technology but for some reason people treat these guys like they already built a Saturn V and personally escorted Armstrong to the surface of the moon...


I think the name Cantrell carries it pretty far, given he's associated with SpaceX, and "also played key roles in the development of Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella) and has had developmental roles in numerous venture funded space efforts including Rocket Lab, Planet, Black Sky and Spaceflight."

To an investor that's not an aerospace engineer through and through that's a big selling point. Given most of these VC's investments have been in software it seems.

Cantrell gets a lot of mileage from the 8 months he worked at SpaceX. At the end of the day I think if they raise the funding they have the people to make a viable product. I think they like to promote that they are (much) farther along than they are but that's probably what they feel is needed for them to raise capital. I wish them the best.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 07/26/2017 06:48 AM

Yeah, but RocketLab is apparently valued at $1 billion dollars already. They also likely got hefty deposits for launches long in advance which really helped them. I personally love the garage build rocket devs. They are more inspiring to me and I think to the average person too. The mindset that only billionaires can do it is toxic to space progress and innovations. We barely just broke down the barrier that only governments can do it, so I really want one of the little guys to make it, and set down a blueprint for others to follow, so that mentality that you have to be a billionaire to do it doesn't become the next imaginary roadblock that sets in.

Don't get me wrong, I also really want them to succeed, i like their incremental testing approach, i love their north-korean ICBM style for their launch platform.

But I don't think running a clean workshop does need millions or billions, it's a mindset. What do you think the reaction would be if a launch with a customer fails because they forgot one of those dirty ear plugs lying around inside the LOX tank or else?

If something corrodes much faster than expected because it has been contaminated by dust from the angle grinder...

Separating the dirty work from the assembly shouldn't be a matter of the available budget.



Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 07/26/2017 11:55 AM
Block 0.002? This means that it will be another low altitude fixed engine flight, I presume?

Since it's not another block 0.001 it's probably slightly upgraded from the previous model. Pure speculation though.
Either that or they are going to do 999 test flights before they reach 1.0. ;)

It wouldn't surprise me at this point. Vector's fun-raising strategy is pretty novel, using every small launch as a fun-raising opportunity. Which may work fine for this upcoming launch... But eventually even the gullible investors will catch on if no real progress is demonstrated.

Vector VS Masten (or Armadillo), who have more progress?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bean Kenobi on 07/26/2017 12:43 PM
So that would make it August 4 for the launch.

I think it means more Aug 02, since Vector's original tweet is dated Jul 23. Retweet from Cantrell is dated Jul 25.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/26/2017 04:44 PM
It wouldn't surprise me at this point. Vector's fun-raising strategy is pretty novel, using every small launch as a fun-raising opportunity. Which may work fine for this upcoming launch... But eventually even the gullible investors will catch on if no real progress is demonstrated.

Vector VS Masten (or Armadillo), who have more progress?

Vector has a long way to go before they match either, IMO. But don't tell Vector that, they already assume that they are in LEO.  ;)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/26/2017 04:52 PM
It wouldn't surprise me at this point. Vector's fun-raising strategy is pretty novel, using every small launch as a fun-raising opportunity. Which may work fine for this upcoming launch... But eventually even the gullible investors will catch on if no real progress is demonstrated.

Vector VS Masten (or Armadillo), who have more progress?

Vector has a long way to go before they match either, IMO. But don't tell Vector that, they already assume that they are in LEO.  ;)
Yes because Initial test flights use Garvey style aluminum structure and tanks whereas orbital Vector-R and H use composite tanks and structure.

Public Source: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/vector-1.htm
Quote
...
Vector Space Systems has already begun engine-level static fire testing and is working toward the start of sub-orbital test flights that will pathfind operations and manifest key technology experiments in Q3 2016, followed by large-scale sub-orbital test flights of a aluminium structure Block 0 prototype in 2017 and composite tank vehicle orbital launches in 2018.
...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LooksFlyable on 07/26/2017 05:07 PM
Their workshop really doesn't look like i would think serious rocket manufacturing would look like...

In the picture above i see at least 3 different angle grinders within 3m of flight hardware, none of them with a guard on it.

And there's a cut-in-half bottle catching fluids dripping from the rocket, i guess.

Compared to what we see from RocketLab, it's night and day.

Yeah, but RocketLab is apparently valued at $1 billion dollars already. They also likely got hefty deposits for launches long in advance which really helped them. I personally love the garage build rocket devs. They are more inspiring to me and I think to the average person too. The mindset that only billionaires can do it is toxic to space progress and innovations. We barely just broke down the barrier that only governments can do it, so I really want one of the little guys to make it, and set down a blueprint for others to follow, so that mentality that you have to be a billionaire to do it doesn't become the next imaginary roadblock that sets in.
Bezo and Musk were not born billionaires. Musk has become a billionaire because of SpaceX and Tesla.

Musk became a billionaire when he sold his shares of PayPal to Ebay. They may have not been born billionaires, but that's not what I am saying. Currently the 3 leading space companies, SpaceX, BO and VG were started by established billionaires. Well VG is a little gray but Scaled Composites was backed by Paul Allen and Branson was definitely a billionaire when he took over. We don't want to set a trend there. Go Copenhagen Suborbitals! If they can do it, we all can! I'm already planning my Kickstarter campaign  ;)

Vector probably has that southern country mechanic mentality. They want to build rockets like they build race cars. As more start-ups do rockets, I expect we'll see a lot of things like that, and fewer and fewer clean rooms. I mean even SpaceX was criticized at one point for their employees stepping on the hardware. The horror! They seem to be doing ok now, to put it mildly.

At least none of these little guys blew anything of concern up yet so I think it's a good thing to de-regulate the process for now and hold them at lower standards, at least until some accident occurs. I'm sure it will naturally resolve itself.  I just hope it doesn't kill anybody.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/26/2017 06:17 PM
Musk became a billionaire when he sold his shares of PayPal to Ebay.

Sorry, he didn't. PayPal was sold for over a billion but Elon's share was $180M. That ended up being split between SpaceX and Tesla. From memory his total SpaceX commitment, not all in one go, was about $100M.

Yes that's still a lot of money but in aerospace it's not a huge amount and no where near the amount others (such as Bezos and Bigelow) have invested. As we know it was barely enough to get to orbit, due to the three F1 failures.

If any of the current crop of smallsat launch companies (including Vector) succeeds with less funding then it'll be a major achievement.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LooksFlyable on 07/26/2017 06:36 PM
Thanks for the correction, looks like you are right on that, but I think you understand the sentiment of what I am saying. There's just a lot more benefit to having 50-100 worldwide start-ups doing it than 3 or 4 billion dollar companies. At the smaller level you at least have some exciting things going on and companies willing to take risks on untried tech, whether it's aerospikes, completely 3D printed engines, SSTO attempts, sea-lunched rockets or pushing composites to the limits. I just have a hunch this is where the next big step forward in rocket development will come from.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/26/2017 06:53 PM
Beck of RL started from nothing just hard work and determination. Found backers that believed in him and is now worth a few million if $100m on paper if RL valuations are to believed. RL still to prove its self but looking good.

W
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/26/2017 08:02 PM
Beck of RL started from nothing just hard work and determination. Found backers that believed in him and is now worth a few million if $100m on paper if RL valuations are to believed. RL still to prove its self but looking good.

W
LM has supported RL in the later rounds in terms of funding, use of LM's development resources (dev labs etc) and acquisition of machines for the composite manufacturing process.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/26/2017 08:41 PM
Vector probably has that southern country mechanic mentality. They want to build rockets like they build race cars. As more start-ups do rockets, I expect we'll see a lot of things like that, and fewer and fewer clean rooms. I mean even SpaceX was criticized at one point for their employees stepping on the hardware. The horror! They seem to be doing ok now, to put it mildly.

At least none of these little guys blew anything of concern up yet so I think it's a good thing to de-regulate the process for now and hold them at lower standards, at least until some accident occurs. I'm sure it will naturally resolve itself.  I just hope it doesn't kill anybody.

Sure. But you also need to keep in mind that orbital rocketry is hard. Very hard. And it may simply be out of range for a "garage based" operation, no matter the brilliance of some ideas. The romantic notion that any idea can be hatched and executed in a garage if you just work hard enough may not be realistic. At some point the needs of the operation will require an upgrade in resources and facilities.

Vector is likely very aware of this, and they are no doubt trying to avoid investing in things they don't need yet. But at some point they will have to.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 07/27/2017 01:27 AM
. The romantic notion that any idea can be hatched and executed in a garage if you just work hard enough may not be realistic...

There isn't a lot of mystery to it: the benchmark is around a hundred fairly skilled people working for at least 4-5 years, that's apparently roughly what it takes to get to orbit.
Obviously you can't run that kind of team out of garage for long, and it also sets a low bar on the investment required.

Seems like Vector is at least in the right order of magnitude investment wise, the team size ( and I'd say, total pool of required experience) hasn't yet caught up, but they have at least indicated the intent.

Obviously having the team and investment and facilities isn't a guarantee of success, but it is a prerequisite.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: SolSystem on 07/27/2017 02:29 AM
If anyone is interested I interviewed Jim about 2 weeks ago for my podcast. He provided some updated information. It's on spaceq.ca.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 07/27/2017 06:32 PM
If anyone is interested I interviewed Jim about 2 weeks ago for my podcast. He provided some updated information. It's on spaceq.ca.

Nice interview with some unique details. You got me hooked on another space podcast series!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/28/2017 11:24 AM
Iran's sub-orbital Simorgh+ launcher (launched earlier today) looks surprisingly familiar:

(https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/1.480255.1501175495!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_900/image.jpg)

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--WhYCysyim8/VNBeZqSKmnI/AAAAAAABU4Y/Huue65o0iBE/s1600/Simorgh_big.jpg)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/28/2017 04:38 PM
Huh? I don't really see the resemblance, other than looking like a smaller upper stage on top of a first stage. Hardly a unique configuration. The engines are completely different, and Vector isn't even close to being similar in progress.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/28/2017 06:53 PM
Huh? I don't really see the resemblance, other than looking like a smaller upper stage on top of a first stage. Hardly a unique configuration. The engines are completely different, and Vector isn't even close to being similar in progress.

It was joke.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 07/28/2017 10:58 PM
Camden county, Georgia, releases statement about upcoming sub-orbital, scaled test.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/news/vector-plans-test-launch-camden
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/29/2017 08:13 PM
Quote
block 0.002 Vector-R prototype awaiting second stage & payload integration @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/891376250362580992 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/891376250362580992)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/30/2017 03:01 AM
He's got a good point. "Garage" level development is incredibly capital efficient compared to RL-like development. Even if the odds of success are significantly lower, it might make sense in the early days.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/30/2017 03:43 AM
Garage level development may get you orbital prototype but gearing up for large scale low cost production and launch requires large capital outlay. RL recent fund raising round was for volume production facilities.


 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/30/2017 04:46 AM
Garage level development may get you orbital prototype but gearing up for large scale low cost production and launch requires large capital outlay.
You don't know what you're talking about. With some business models, this is pure BS.

Quote
RL recent fund raising round was for volume production facilities.
More likely payload processing facilities.

Launch providers don't usually get out in front of their headlights too far. Otherwise they have to carry that financial burden, increasing their fixed costs for launch services, negating the profit advantages desired.

And, you want a cash flow "cushion" to tide you over the occasional launch failure, common in new vehicles/providers. With SX, they've had to "dig" into that cushion too frequently.

For 6-12 launches per year, they have adequate facilities. Not the time to fund expansion.

Now, with F1, the payload stream never amounted to much. But ... they almost went bankrupt with insufficient cushion.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 07/30/2017 06:17 AM
Garage level development may get you orbital prototype but gearing up for large scale low cost production and launch requires large capital outlay. RL recent fund raising round was for volume production facilities.

Nobody will get to orbit or an orbital prototype with 'garage level development' and neither will Vector, by their own statements. They have stated the intent of hiring hundreds of people over next few years. That's not a garage.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: symbios on 07/30/2017 08:30 AM
Did not the Merlin Engine start in Tom Muller’s garage?

Elon Musk visited him there after watching a hobby rocket launch and that is how Muller got involved... if I remember the story correctly...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/30/2017 12:54 PM
The whole point of Vector is as an opposite to RL.

I don't think that is true. They compete for the same market (Cantrell says they have told investors they will capture 25% of the global smallsat market LOL) and the Vector H is due to transport 100kg. That is a directly analogous competitor to RL. They are making some bold claims on their cost reduction through a mobile launcher but that is actually irrelevant as the launch site build is mostly CAPEX, not OPEX. Even the price per kilo is similar because overheads. All they have as an ambition is to build lots of them, but so does Peter Beck, so really they are a me-too player who is 4-5 years behind RL and Virgin and maybe also behind Relativity Space - we don't yet know.

The problem is they can't build their business around the little Vector R. It's not economically viable below about 50-60 flights a year i.e., 1 per week, which is why they make those radical claims on volume - they need volume to break even. 10 minutes in Excel and some idea of real costs tells you that.

Quote
That you can start off with garage shop stuff, get 90% of the way there with it, having garage shop costs accumulating over less than a few years, then a fraction of a year at 2-5x of higher costing to refine what you're missing, and have a vehicle with a radically lower cost structure.

I would never argue it is impossible to start small. Alnost everybody starts that way. But the demos they are doing are not really proving anything they didn't already know. GSC has been launching that same unguided vehicle suborbital for years - that mockup was basically a P-19 or P-20 in a shell. Flying it is actually an expensive way to prove not much at all technically, it just gives investors a hard-on.

Quote
This could look like a scam to some, or embarrassing to others ("got to orbit on 1/100th the capital? - Wow, did I over invest in OSC/SX/RL?). It's relatively pocket change to Sequoia, so flat out they don't care about the outlay, it's a lottery ticket with "good enough" odds.

Now it has Sequoia money it has a solid chance to go somewhere, no question. But it got that money through somewhat questionable tactics. Whether investor did real DD or just drank the Koolaid is a real (if now moot) question. The arms length independence of the customer contracts for example is a potential issue.

Quote
So what you're watching here is a sequence of vehicle test flights that allow them to eventually prove to the authorities that the collateral being flow increasingly resembles an orbital launch vehicle, so that they can fly under reduced restrictions, approaching the abstract capability to reach orbit if the expensive stuff is added.

None of these flights (which are under 101 waiver - a provision explicitly for AMATEUR rockets, see CFR 101.1 (3)) prove anything that hasn't already been proven by Garvey many times. Nothing they have done in launching moves them towards getting an orbital license. The last one flew erratically for 12 seconds using a fuel tank that was about 5 feet long in tube 8 times bigger.

https://vimeo.com/216386425 (https://vimeo.com/216386425)

What does that prove beyond what Garvey did before? Those are all legacy assets.

Quote
What many of the posts here object is this means that Vector is using to reduce structural costs, the same ones that David Packard told me were essential for Hewlett Packard to be a success in Silicon Valley. Suggest one should understand the point of the approach irrespective of one's own personal biases.

I don't object to garage startups. I object to thin claims.

Quote
Also, please note that this one isn't as "pretty" as before, more of a functional model. If Cantrell was going for press, he'd likely want to spend more on the appearance.

Well they lost the last vehicle when it impacted the dirt at 122mph. I guess the aluminum is reusuable...

Plus, what pretty? If you look at the closeups of the last launch, it was a (9/10ths empty) horrorshow.

(http://i.imgur.com/W1ggg16.jpg)

It's all for publicity and funding reasons - no doubt they are applying for public funding from Georgia too, just like they are from others (mentioned in the Spaceq.ca podcast above regarding e.g. England). Rational testing of capability avoids expensive steps and losses until they are necessary - like Rocket Lab.

These launches are not technically necessary and prove little - except that someone has a need to be the guy with the big appendage. The reason they make all this fuss is they are so far behind that they have to make big claims to look like a player.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/30/2017 05:46 PM
Can only guess at why.

You keep insinuating I have another interest / stake, so I changed my forum image.

Happy now?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/30/2017 06:59 PM
The whole point of Vector is as an opposite to RL.
....
how is VSS an Opposite to RL. Engine and software test flights use Aluminum whereas orbital flight versions are to be fully composite.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/30/2017 07:58 PM
Can only guess at why.

You keep insinuating I have another interest / stake, so I changed my forum image.

Happy now?

Feel free to PM and I'll respond respectfully, accurately, usefully, to benefit your agenda.

I was joking. I don't have a stake in any of them. I'm just a guy who knows how to research companies and who likes NewSpace.

I have praised Vector (not very often but there are a couple e.g. after they go the big investment) and hit others just as hard from time to time. I just don't like they way they do business.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/30/2017 08:34 PM
Can only guess at why.

You keep insinuating I have another interest / stake, so I changed my forum image.

Happy now?

Feel free to PM and I'll respond respectfully, accurately, usefully, to benefit your agenda.

I was joking. I don't have a stake in any of them. I'm just a guy who knows how to research companies and who likes NewSpace.

Nah, you're just a dog.
(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/_iSq0_mYYMS0/SaIsPTxTcrI/AAAAAAAABck/iY3OCDWln88/s400/OnTheInternetNoOneKnowsYoureADog.gif)

Quote
I have praised Vector (not very often but there are a couple e.g. after they go the big investment) and hit others just as hard from time to time. I just don't like they way they do business.
It's different. Many different's. Think of them like the Precambrian Explosion. Some might survive. Meh.

The whole point of Vector is as an opposite to RL.
....
how is VSS an Opposite to RL. Engine and software test flights use Aluminum whereas orbital flight versions are to be fully composite.
See above post:
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
... in the way that RL does LV/LRE development, application of technology, and CONOPs.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 07/31/2017 08:13 AM
It's different. Many different's. Think of them like the Precambrian Explosion. Some might survive. Meh.

It's "different" alright:-

(http://i.imgur.com/FGKrFJl.png)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Glom on 07/31/2017 09:53 AM
It's different. Many different's. Think of them like the Precambrian Explosion. Some might survive. Meh.

It's "different" alright:-

(http://i.imgur.com/FGKrFJl.png)
So you're saying that things are a little cartellish?

Maybe it'll be like the Japanese economic miracle I was just reading about where the myriad of companies involved were actually part of a small handful of large conglomerates (Mitsubishi, Sumotomi, etc).  So you had manufacturers selling to distributors financed by banks that were really all the same company. That worked out well for a while there.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/31/2017 02:33 PM
Quote
Block 0.002 Vector-R waiting for her payload to be integrated and a beautiful Georgia sky today.. @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892029614423289856
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 07/31/2017 11:04 PM
Nobody will get to orbit or an orbital prototype with 'garage level development' and neither will Vector, by their own statements.

Not really disputing you, but why do you say that? I don't think you'd get a very reliable launch vehicle from garage-level development but I can't see why you can't get to orbit. Paul Breed is making a serious attempt.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/31/2017 11:32 PM
Quote
Block 0.002 Vector-R waiting for her payload to be integrated and a beautiful Georgia sky today.. @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892029614423289856

I find it interesting that they crop out the engine on all their recent PR pictures.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/01/2017 11:55 PM
Quote
Customers and payload showed up for @vectorspacesys Block 0.002 launch from Spaceport Camden.  #space #microlaunch

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/892531949658615808
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/02/2017 01:07 AM
Nobody will get to orbit or an orbital prototype with 'garage level development' and neither will Vector, by their own statements.

Not really disputing you, but why do you say that? I don't think you'd get a very reliable launch vehicle from garage-level development but I can't see why you can't get to orbit. Paul Breed is making a serious attempt.


Because it's a relatively complex engineering problem, that takes a certain number of manhours of diverse engineering skills to be put into it. On top of that, it's not a trivial operational and regulatory problem either. Unless you can license or buy large parts of the design off the shelf, like engines or avionics, there is just that amount of work needs to be done, there aren't many shortcuts.

SpaceX was around 500 people when they finally reached orbit, around 100 when they first tried. No new magic technology, just using straightforward relatively low risk solutions. RocketLab is over a 100 now, and they haven't gotten to orbit yet. You can obviously do better, but as of today there aren't many ways of doing drastically better.

Keep in mind, orbital rockets are always going to be somewhat dual use technologies, and wide availability of ready made components and systems to integrate is not going to happen soon either.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/02/2017 02:37 AM
There isn't a "certain number" of hours. Nothing in physics says "well, they only put 20,000 man hours in instead of the requisite 500,000, so no orbit this time."

This is lazy thinking. It's still usually true, but not actually a certainty.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/02/2017 05:04 AM
..
This is lazy thinking. It's still usually true, but not actually a certainty.
No, it's called experience.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/02/2017 12:19 PM
..
This is lazy thinking. It's still usually true, but not actually a certainty.
No, it's called experience.
I stand by what I said. Past experience is not proof of future results. Lazy thinking that doesn't include first principles.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/02/2017 02:12 PM
Quote
Customers and payload showed up for @vectorspacesys Block 0.002 launch from Spaceport Camden.  #space #microlaunch

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/892531949658615808

Tweet deleted - persumably because he showed the customer identity (white triangle dudes in foreground)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/02/2017 05:13 PM
Quote
Have a question about our launch tomorrow? Check out the FAQ!

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892794152852668416
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/02/2017 08:53 PM
Quote
Live streaming link for tomorrow's launch! Reminder; launch window (8am-11am) subject to change depending on weather https://livestream.com/accounts/25660170/events/7633093

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892850084047712257
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 08/02/2017 11:23 PM
I know it's been mentioned before, but I really do appreciate the honesty of Vector-R prototype "block 0.002". That version number is where a lot of my open source projects have been abandoned ;)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 07:10 AM
Quote
Raising the @vectorspacesys Vector-R B0.002 for testing @CamdenSpaceport tomorrow.  Weather looks good for an 0800-1000 launch window

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/892958532710150145
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/03/2017 10:35 AM
90 mins to the webcast.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 11:37 AM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys

Going vertical in 45mins-1hr...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893072622220492800

Edit: based on time of tweet that's about 12:20 - 12:35 UTC
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 11:57 AM
Four minutes to start of webcast.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/03/2017 12:00 PM
Precise location of launch site:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Harrietts+Bluff+Rd,+Woodbine,+GA+31569/@30.9338276,-81.5198289

(http://i.imgur.com/ixNIniH.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/lOR3tHE.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/E4UqXuP.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/ChgRJtc.jpg)

Mobile launcher is on the T-junction.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 12:01 PM
Waiting for event to go live.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 12:02 PM
Waiting for event to go live.

As 20 mins or more til going vertical I'm assuming it'll be a little while yet.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 12:07 PM
Here's the vehicle at that T junction. Photo from twitter.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892861376481427456
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/03/2017 12:12 PM
Okay, who are the "AD" people, i.e. The white triangle logo?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 12:16 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 2h2 hours ago

Weather is looking better this morning for launch. Very tight window between 8am - 10am EST stay tuned here for updates!

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893072622220492800
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 12:18 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893083476580196352

"Going vertical ~30mins. Stay tuned for live pad walk (if internet behaves, apologies for high latency sat link may be big laggy)"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/03/2017 12:20 PM
Here's the vehicle at that T junction. Photo from twitter.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892861376481427456

I found it by looking for that bend in the road and the T junction.

I found Rocket Lab's two rocket engine test sites in a similar way last year, from this image - there is a big clue to the precise location in the image:-

(https://images.vice.com/motherboard/content-images/article/20947/142913428754299.png)

Google Maps is awesome.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 08/03/2017 12:50 PM
This has gotta be the stupidest rocket launch I've delayed bed for... at least Copenhagen Suborbitals had boats I could track.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 12:54 PM
New tweet.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893092258576179201

"Blue sky coming... fingers crossed..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 12:55 PM
One hour five minutes left in launch window.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892850084047712257

"Final payload checkouts before going vertical stay tuned..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:17 PM
Going vertical! 44 minutes left in window.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/892850084047712257

"Going vertical and live pad walk"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:22 PM
We're getting a picture on the TV!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:24 PM
First time a spark igniter is being used.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:27 PM
Weather is marginal. Need somewhat clear skies.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:30 PM
The video plays for about five minutes and then crashes. 30 minutes left in window.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:32 PM
Payload from Center of Advanced Technology. Sponsored flight from NASA and Burba?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: DatUser14 on 08/03/2017 01:33 PM
Just said launch in a hour
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:34 PM
Saying about 1 hour from launch? Maybe we're seeing a recorded video.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:36 PM
Going off stream for now, but window closes in 25 minutes, so I don't understand how they can launch if its an hour from now.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:39 PM
New tweet.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893103402288267270

"Just went live with John Garvey CTO and founder of Vector. We will go live again from LCC (launch control center) soon Here she is vertical"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:40 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893103730265948160

"Clouds clearing..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:41 PM
Confirming that it is one hour to launch.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893104156277325828

"1hr to launch..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 01:44 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 51s51 seconds ago
Replying to @immersivenature

Sorry nature of the beast (aka satellite internet) we will have 4K video including drone footage very soon after launch

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893104984002183168
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:46 PM
Apologising for poor livestream.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893105492565688321

"Sorry for poor live video quality, nature of sat internet (something we Vector hope to help w/in future btw hint hint). have 4K vid after"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:50 PM
Fuel loading has begun.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893106594602520581

"Fueling..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:52 PM
Picture showing fuel loading.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893106991102541825

"Fueling the rocket..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 01:54 PM
I like the sign. Good for historical reference.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893107235164782592

"Calm before the storm..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:10 PM
About 30 minutes to launch, which I estimate to be at about 14:40 UTC (10:40 am local).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 02:18 PM
Picture showing fuel loading.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893106991102541825

"Fueling the rocket..."

In response to picture from above tweet:

Quote
cryptowhat?‏ @cryptowat 20m20 minutes ago

What is this big black "slide" just under the rocket ? A way to not damage the soil?
https://twitter.com/cryptowat/status/893108383045255168

Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys
Replying to @cryptowat

Directs flame away from launch rail
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893111929266348032
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:20 PM
Its late at night here, so Leo is taking a nap while we wait. :-)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:31 PM
Livestream has started.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:32 PM
Apologising for poor video. Will have optical fibre in future.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:34 PM
Livestream is off. Should be about 7 minutes away from launch. Next step is the terminal count.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:43 PM
Going back to pyro ignition system.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893120041805266946

"Testing our new spark ignitor.... had minor issue, switching to our backup pyro ignition system"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:45 PM
Loading fuel for the second time?

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893120346429116416

"Loading fuel..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/03/2017 02:49 PM
You've got more patience for this one than I, Steven. I think we should all chip in and buy you one of those fancy flat screen PC monitors. ;D
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 02:52 PM
Quote
Jim Cantrell‏ @jamesncantrell 1m1 minute ago

Update 1050 EDT:  Weather is holding ... trouble shooting ignition issues delayed fueling but proceeding @vectorspacesys with fuel loading

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/893121828734087168
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 02:56 PM
45 minutes to launch. That's about 15:40 UTC.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893123071418146816

"Rockets can be unpredictable/unpunctual beasts. Estimating ~45mins to launch. Stay tuned will update real time when in terminal count &live"

You've got more patience for this one than I, Steven. I think we should all chip in and buy you one of those fancy flat screen PC monitors. ;D

This one is a breeze after the first Electron launch! No need for a new screen. This one's still got a few years left in her, plus I have another one as backup. :-)

*Corrected launch time*
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 02:57 PM
45 minutes to launch. That's about 14:55 UTC.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893123071418146816

"Rockets can be unpredictable/unpunctual beasts. Estimating ~45mins to launch. Stay tuned will update real time when in terminal count &live"

This launch window appears rather flexible ... !
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 08/03/2017 02:58 PM
You've got more patience for this one than I, Steven. I think we should all chip in and buy you one of those fancy flat screen PC monitors. ;D

But then Leo wouldn't have that cozy warm corner to curl up in.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:06 PM
While we wait, here's an interesting stat (can't verify it myself):

Quote
Laura Seward Forczyk‏ @LauraForczyk 1h1 hour ago

The #Vector test launch today is the 1st rocket activity in Camden County, GA since Thiokol tested a 13 ft motor in 1965. @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/LauraForczyk/status/893108489203187713
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:10 PM
Back live!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:13 PM
Loading LOX! Launch time is now 15:25 to 15:30 UTC.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893126838561546241

"Loading LOX (liquid oxygen) 15-20mins to launch"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:15 PM
Quote
News-Leader‏ @fbnewsleader 15m15 minutes ago

I thought your launch window closes at 1100.
https://twitter.com/fbnewsleader/status/893124064755286016

Quote
Replying to @fbnewsleader

Someone up above was kind enough to open it up a wee bit longer...
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893126964990558209
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:16 PM
Quote
Jim Cantrell‏ @jamesncantrell 1m1 minute ago

Fuel loading complete.  LOX loading commencing.  Weather holding for about 45-60 minutes more window.  @vectorspacesys t minus 20 minutes

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/893128039223242752
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:17 PM
I'm getting quite a good steady picture.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/03/2017 03:19 PM
They are a bit close to this going on....
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:19 PM
T-15 minutes.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893128940755099648

"Within the 15min count. Valves looking good LOX loading nearly done"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:23 PM
Venting some LOX.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:24 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893130291409072130

"Lox loading is complete..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:26 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893130688148291584

"Flight computer is on... external power disconnected"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:26 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893130823267897344

"Blue skies above the pad..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:31 PM
First vehicle is leaving. About 5 to 10 minutes from launch.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:31 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 11s11 seconds ago

Evacuating the pad...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893132068338548736
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:32 PM
Second vehicle has left.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:34 PM
More vehicles, including a quadbike!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:35 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893132068338548736

"Evacuating the pad..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/03/2017 03:35 PM
Cloak engaged.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:37 PM
Continuing the evacuation.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:38 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 23s23 seconds ago

We are in terminal count

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893133757426708480
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:38 PM
Last vehicles leaving.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:39 PM
Pad is clear.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:39 PM
T-1 minute
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:40 PM
T-1 minute.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:43 PM
There's a drone at the top of the livestream picture
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:44 PM
Launch abort!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 03:45 PM
Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 30s30 seconds ago

Launch hold. Auto abort ignition detection failure standby we are in launch hold

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893135440835788800
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:46 PM
They are going to try again in the next 10 minutes.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/03/2017 03:48 PM
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: DaveS on 08/03/2017 03:51 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893136560199057408

Team inspecting the ignitors. Weather holds we will have another launch attempt stay tuned..
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:51 PM
Car heading back.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:54 PM
Local wildlife paying a visit!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 08/03/2017 03:55 PM
SpaceX: Rocket Cows

Rocket Lab: Rocket Sheep

Vector: Rocket Boars?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: DaveS on 08/03/2017 03:58 PM
SpaceX: Rocket Cows

Rocket Lab: Rocket Sheep

Vector: Rocket Boars?

NASA: Rocket Gators
USAF CCAFS: Rocket Sharks (see the fairings of Delta II GPS launches)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 03:59 PM
Car heading back to vehicle.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:00 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893138755011264512

"Replacing pyro ignitors topping off fuel"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:00 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893139376242216961

"(Re)Loading LOX..."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:01 PM
Can see venting as they reload the LOX.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:05 PM
Another car heading towards the vehicle.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:05 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893140309877571587

"(Re)Lox loading complete"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:07 PM
15 psi pressure on the fuel.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 08/03/2017 04:11 PM
"Igniter had some smoke issuing".

"Looking down on the chamber. Looking down on the nozzle."


Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:15 PM
First car heading back.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893142552748081152

"Clearing pad in 5mins"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 04:17 PM
T-10 mins
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/03/2017 04:18 PM
The biggest question i have right now is .. if the flight gets cut short, what all gets set on fire. And if the parachutes don't open .. or if they do open how will these overhead lines act as a safety net.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:18 PM
T-10 minutes.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893143810531672065

"10mins to second launch attempt"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:18 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893144011338162177

"Clearing the pad... data recording and onboard computer enabled"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:21 PM
Can hear the drones buzzing. Think I heard "5 minutes".

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893144379694522368

"Drones are in the air"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:22 PM
Pressurising fuel and LOX tank. You can see the drone flying above.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893144621605298176

"Within terminal count"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/03/2017 04:23 PM
45 minutes to launch. That's about 14:55 UTC.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893123071418146816

"Rockets can be unpredictable/unpunctual beasts. Estimating ~45mins to launch. Stay tuned will update real time when in terminal count &live"

This launch window appears rather flexible ... !

It's more of a sliding door than a window.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:23 PM
T-1 minute.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:25 PM
Liftoff!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/03/2017 04:25 PM
LAUNCH!!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:26 PM
Empty pad. Launch success!

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893145802847039488

"Successful launch!"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 04:27 PM
Heard a call of drogue and clapping a bit after so they sounded pretty happy with it.

Look forward to the drone footage.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: SimonFD on 08/03/2017 04:27 PM
Blimey, that didn't hang around did it!? :)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/03/2017 04:27 PM
Webcast has ended.

Congratulations to Vector for the successful launch! A big thankyou as well for showing this live!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/03/2017 04:28 PM
Blimey, that didn't hang around did it!? :)
dummy second stage.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/03/2017 04:32 PM
Webcast has ended.

Congratulations to Vector for the successful launch! A big thankyou as well for showing this live!

Thanks for covering this! How about someone sets up a gofundme.com/steven-gets-a-17-inch-lcd
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 04:32 PM
Capture of launch attached:

Quote
Bye, bye, little rocket! @vectorspacesys

https://twitter.com/mirikramer/status/893146093206294528
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 04:39 PM
Recovery ops underway ...

Quote
VECTOR‏ @vectorspacesys 5m5 minutes ago
Replying to @moriahmorris1

In the trees finding her now...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893147774727766016
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 06:07 PM
Longer launch video:

Quote
Sweet success ! @vectorspacesys @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/893166105522446336
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: DavidH on 08/03/2017 06:27 PM
Webcast has ended.

Congratulations to Vector for the successful launch! A big thankyou as well for showing this live!

Thanks for covering this! How about someone sets up a gofundme.com/steven-gets-a-17-inch-lcd
I'd be shooting a little bigger, say 49" (https://www.amazon.com/Sony-XBR49X700D-Class-Ultra-Black/dp/B01FWIEKVY/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1501784626&sr=1-2&keywords=sony+x700d).
Thanks for all of your awesome launch coverage Steven.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 06:39 PM
Quote
Vector-R block 0.002 successful launch at @CamdenSpaceport today with customer payload from @astrodigitalgeo

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893174380426969088
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 06:49 PM
Several different views in this video:

Quote
Hot of the press... amazing video of our launch today at @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893180679470465025
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/03/2017 07:09 PM
Interviews with John Garvey def worth listening to, too

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893166218823073792
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893169036229357572
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: topsphere on 08/03/2017 07:27 PM
What sort of payload could Astro Digital have had on this flight that could have been useful to them?  :o
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 07:32 PM
Quote
Returning our customer payload from CAST to its rightful owner after recovery.  @vectorspacesys

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/893168095170224128
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 09:36 PM
Payload info:

Quote
Vector micro-rocket launch w/ Astro Digital

This morning Vector Space Systems successfully completed their second launch test of the Vector-R rocket, this time with an experimental Landmapper-HD payload onboard. This is just the start of hundreds of micro-rockets that Vector plans to launch with a small sat payload beginning in 2018. We are thrilled to be a part of this huge milestone.[...]

https://blog.astrodigital.com/vector-micro-rocket-launch-w-astro-digital-cce05084309
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/03/2017 11:04 PM
Whoever thought it was fine to delete my parody tweets, reality is better than any comedy....

"This founder split from Elon Musk and is now launching rockets for one-twentieth the cost of SpaceX"

https://t.co/7T0XLMq1mW

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 08/03/2017 11:22 PM
Whoever thought it was fine to delete my parody tweets, reality is better than any comedy....

"This founder split from Elon Musk and is now launching rockets for one-twentieth the cost of SpaceX"

https://t.co/7T0XLMq1mW

That is indeed high comedy.  ;D
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/04/2017 05:55 AM
Okay, who are the "AD" people, i.e. The white triangle logo?

We now have an answer. That is Astro Digital. Their Landmapper-HD payload was carried on the flight.

https://astrodigital.com/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 08/04/2017 05:58 AM
Okay, who are the "AD" people, i.e. The white triangle logo?

We now have an answer. That is Astro Digital. Their Landmapper-HD payload was carried on the flight.

https://astrodigital.com/

What useful data was collected during this short flight to 2(?) miles altitude?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/04/2017 06:05 AM
What useful data was collected during this short flight to 2(?) miles altitude?

From https://blog.astrodigital.com/vector-micro-rocket-launch-w-astro-digital-cce05084309

"Having the experimental Landmapper-HD payload onboard the Vector-R rocket means that we test integration — mechanical fit and compatibility of the electronics — of our satellite payload with this new launch vehicle . We have also been able to test some of our new hardware designs under real life launch conditions."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: whitelancer64 on 08/04/2017 05:42 PM
OK. Lets grade this launch. What's your score, using objective facts to support, based on my prior suggested means to assess?
How to "score" this next launch:
1. How much of the LV systems necessary for the most minimal orbital launch are present (not as full capability)?
2. Did the flight test prove the systems worked as planned?
3. Did the flight expand the envelope substantially

The point here is to measure objectively the differences between flight .001 and .002.

Not inviting rants which is too easy and pointless. Not a team sport. Inviting informed, considered analysis.

Do we even know any of those criteria?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ethan829 on 08/04/2017 07:06 PM
OK. Lets grade this launch. What's your score, using objective facts to support, based on my prior suggested means to assess?
How to "score" this next launch:
1. How much of the LV systems necessary for the most minimal orbital launch are present (not as full capability)?
2. Did the flight test prove the systems worked as planned?
3. Did the flight expand the envelope substantially

The point here is to measure objectively the differences between flight .001 and .002.

Not inviting rants which is too easy and pointless. Not a team sport. Inviting informed, considered analysis.

Do we even know any of those criteria?


Some:


Quote
New flight computers, code upgrades, AFTS, upgraded engines.  Same FAA license restricting altitude.  Customer payloads.  New launch site
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/889853907387666432
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/04/2017 07:50 PM
OK. Lets grade this launch. What's your score, using objective facts to support, based on my prior suggested means to assess?

I'd score them below Interstellar Technologies launch  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42521.msg1708619#msg1708619) just a few days ago as it objectively went through a more challenging launch campaign, and definitely flew through a more representative flight regime for far longer.

Quote
1. How much of the LV systems necessary for the most minimal orbital launch are present (not as full capability)?
IST seemed to have their full rocket intended for suborbital flights on the pad. That included all GSE as thoroughly demonstrated

Quote
2. Did the flight test prove the systems worked as planned?
Large part of IST flight worked as intended i'm guessing, unless the roll was unintentional

Quote
3. Did the flight expand the envelope substantially
Far above they had gone before.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/04/2017 08:50 PM
Quote
Another great image of yesterday's successful launch at @CamdenSpaceport

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893483299133206528
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LooksFlyable on 08/04/2017 10:50 PM
I love how it looks like they are just launching off some backroad in the country. ;D
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 08/04/2017 11:44 PM
OK. Lets grade this launch. What's your score, using objective facts to support, based on my prior suggested means to assess?

I'd score them below Interstellar Technologies launch  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42521.msg1708619#msg1708619)

You get a passing grade because you did the process outline. Appreciate that.

You get an "A" in writing opinion of how it related to another, but that wasn't the point.

The point was relative improvement from .001 to .002. You might want to try again to better your score.

Huh? You're grading people now on how to respond to your "questionnaire" based on insufficient data.  ;D Or did I miss some detailed info-dump on what changed with block .002?

BTW, I've been meaning to ask: Do you have any connection to the Vector people? You seem to be very defensive of the Vectors progress. (my apology if I missed such a statement earlier)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/05/2017 12:03 AM
The point was relative improvement from .001 to .002. You might want to try again to better your score. Easy to be an a-hole, hard to do the job.
I know what the point was, i specifically wanted to call out comparable capabilities elsewhere.

Edit/Lar: several people get a c grade in being excellent to each other
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/05/2017 02:53 AM
We had two small rocket teams with orbital aspirations do envelope expansion flights in close succession, if a comparison isn't a valid discussion topic then I don't know what is.

Nevermind that there are pages full of back and forth here about Rocket lab vs Vector, which are at far more different stages of evolution than IST/Vector 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Spaceportfacts on 08/05/2017 02:56 AM
Vector was approved to launch between 8 am and 8 pm. They had trouble associated with the delay until launch at 12:30. The confusion about launch time was speculation and rumor because Camden officials seemed to have washed their hands of the event and Vector did not give out the specifics until the day before launch. Notice was not given to the newspapers or the general public but rather was submerged in the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) written in FAA jargon. For instance, times are given in Zulu time requiring the addition of 8 hours for EST. That's why many thought that the launch window opened at noon but the time was actually indicated as Z12:00 (midnight + 8 hours = 8 am local). The location was identified in True North bearings from the Brunswick VORTAC beacon on the Jekyll Island Causeway (true north correction is required from magnetic north compass readings by subtracting 6.73 degrees from the compass reading). Not very friendly to the general public considering that Camden County put out their confusing official press release only on the Friday before the launch.

According to the NOTAM, Vector was only approved to 5,500 feet but I saw the engine flameout at about 10 seconds which was probably about 1,200-1,500 feet. A back of the envelope calculation indicated that they might not have reached 200mph. Not only did they veer well off target (their video was clear on that), but to make things worse, they must have had a hard landing. The landing site has not been identified but is thought that it might be on the Union Carbide property. Vector has failed to show the rocket after it landed.
 
Here’s a quote that will warm your heart from Jim Cantrell:
@jamesncantrell  12h ago
“I have bug bites on my scalp after joining search for @vectorspacesys rocket yesterday in @CamdenSpaceport jungle w/ gators snakes & pigs” alongside a picture of an alligator he must have seen in the Camden "jungle."

They also posted a picture of a wild hog running by the rocket at the launch pad during their delay. Did they drive 1969 miles so they could launch with our pigs and alligators? I think these desert boys were quite surprised about Camden's wilderness!!!!

The attached file is the spot they launched from and is validated from their video. The rocket began to curve westerly almost as soon as it left the launch pad.

The results seen so far are similar to Vector's last launch at FAR where they also did not show video of the entire flight, the parachute deployment or the rocket after landing. Beyond the promotional value for the proposed Spaceport Camden, Vector and their customer, it is hard to see what advancement was made by launching an unguided Class 3 amateur to a tiny fraction of the altitude and velocity needed to orbit.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Jamesvanderbeek on 08/05/2017 04:11 AM
Hey everyone... is anyone familiar with the connection between Vector and Nexus cryptocurrency?  Colin Cantrell is the son of James Cantrell, and has developed a cryptocurrency called Nexus.  There have been "cryptic" hints in cryptocurrency land that Nexus and Vector are partnered together and are waiting to officially announce it sometime whenever in the future... Obviously, I'm new so if this post is inappropriate for the forum, feel free to delete it, mods. 

I have no aerospace background, but invest partially in cryptocurrency and am intrigued by Nexus, but I can't find anything concrete on their partnership if there is one.  Nexus wants to offer decentralized internet over a mesh network of cubesats... and is their ticket to it.  However, I've seen them claim they will have the first Nexus cubesat launch in 2018 and then I come on here and you guys say Vector is nothing special and is just trying a different style of fundraising. Reading the sentiment from you guys, tells me that I might have been falling for the hype somewhat around Vector.  Are any of you here invested in Nexus or even aware of it?  James is speaking at their conference next month, so I figure there is something "there," but I'm having a hard time sniffing out the legitimacy.

Once again, I don't mean this to come across as an ad, so feel free to delete if inappropriate, but hopefully I can get some answers.

Thanks
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/05/2017 04:42 AM
Vector was approved to launch between 8 am and 8 pm. They had trouble associated with the delay until launch at 12:30. The confusion about launch time was speculation and rumor because Camden officials seemed to have washed their hands of the event and Vector did not give out the specifics until the day before launch. Notice was not given to the newspapers or the general public but rather was submerged in the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) written in FAA jargon. For instance, times are given in Zulu time requiring the addition of 8 hours for EST. That's why many thought that the launch window opened at noon but the time was actually indicated as Z12:00 (midnight + 8 hours = 8 am local).

Good analysis of the flight except that it was Zulu - 4. Zulu is UTC/GMT, so + 8 would be Singapore local time, and 1200Z is midday, not midnight - midnight would be 0000Z.

So 1200Z - 4 = 8AM local.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 08/05/2017 04:50 AM
Hey everyone... is anyone familiar with the connection between Vector and Nexus cryptocurrency?  Colin Cantrell is the son of James Cantrell, and has developed a cryptocurrency called Nexus.  There have been "cryptic" hints in cryptocurrency land that Nexus and Vector are partnered together and are waiting to officially announce it sometime whenever in the future... Obviously, I'm new so if this post is inappropriate for the forum, feel free to delete it, mods. 

I have no aerospace background, but invest partially in cryptocurrency and am intrigued by Nexus, but I can't find anything concrete on their partnership if there is one.  Nexus wants to offer decentralized internet over a mesh network of cubesats... and is their ticket to it.  However, I've seen them claim they will have the first Nexus cubesat launch in 2018 and then I come on here and you guys say Vector is nothing special and is just trying a different style of fundraising. Reading the sentiment from you guys, tells me that I might have been falling for the hype somewhat around Vector.  Are any of you here invested in Nexus or even aware of it?  James is speaking at their conference next month, so I figure there is something "there," but I'm having a hard time sniffing out the legitimacy.

Once again, I don't mean this to come across as an ad, so feel free to delete if inappropriate, but hopefully I can get some answers.

Thanks

If you are asking if Jim Cantrell is a scam artist I would say no he's not. Vector is a real company with some funding who is legitimately intending to build rockets someday. If you are asking if Vector is going to be launching cubesats into orbit in 2018 I highly doubt it.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/05/2017 05:02 AM
About 10 seconds of flight here, before it disappears into the clouds:

https://twitter.com/astrodigitalgeo/status/893539892352831489

EDIT: also, sounds like engine shut down at around 10 second mark.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/05/2017 05:16 AM
The point was relative improvement from .001 to .002. You might want to try again to better your score. Easy to be an a-hole, hard to do the job.
I know what the point was, i specifically wanted to call out comparable capabilities elsewhere.. you get a "C" grade in a-holiness ;)
I didn't see the point of your post either as you didn't even actually answer the question he asked just posted a load of OT stuff about another company. After all you weren't actually asked to present a comparison were you.

Or was the point of your post just to make cheap shots at the efforts of Vector?
Accepting the premise of that framework would be an analytical mistake. Pretending that marginal improvements to a Honda Accord is the same as building an Indycar is a false premise.

The benchmark is orbital spaceflight, not sub-orbital amateur rocketry. But given that that is all Vector can do right now, the comparison to the Interstellar flight was very appropriate and fair, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/05/2017 07:41 AM
About 10 seconds of flight here, before it disappears into the clouds:

https://twitter.com/astrodigitalgeo/status/893539892352831489

EDIT: also, sounds like engine shut down at around 10 second mark.

CFR §101.25   Operating limitations for Class 2-High Power Rockets and Class 3-Advanced High Power Rockets.

When operating Class 2-High Power Rockets or Class 3-Advanced High Power Rockets, you must comply with the General Operating Limitations of §101.23. In addition, you must not operate Class 2-High Power Rockets or Class 3-Advanced High Power Rockets—

(a) At any altitude where clouds or obscuring phenomena of more than five-tenths coverage prevails;

(b) At any altitude where the horizontal visibility is less than five miles;

(c) Into any cloud;
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Propylox on 08/05/2017 03:18 PM
I'd like to congratulate VectorSS on their recent test flight, even though its rocket design and "hobbyist" flight parameters seemed oriented only toward operations development and PR/investors. Is VectorSS a half-hearted garage company, a streamlined launch provider or something in between? I've quoted previous points below that address the direction and viability of VectorSS.

And it may simply be out of range for a "garage based" operation, no matter the brilliance of some ideas. The romantic notion that any idea can be hatched and executed in a garage if you just work hard enough may not be realistic. At some point the needs of the operation will require an upgrade in resources and facilities.
The whole point of Vector is as an opposite to RL. That you can start off with garage shop stuff, get 90% of the way there with it, having garage shop costs accumulating over less than a few years, then a fraction of a year at 2-5x of higher costing to refine what you're missing, and have a vehicle with a radically lower cost structure. ...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Garage level development may get you orbital prototype but gearing up for large scale low cost production and launch requires large capital outlay. RL recent fund raising round was for volume production facilities.
Nobody will get to orbit or an orbital prototype with 'garage level development' and neither will Vector, by their own statements. They have stated the intent of hiring hundreds of people over next few years. That's not a garage.
Not really disputing you, but why do you say that? I don't think you'd get a very reliable launch vehicle from garage-level development but I can't see why you can't get to orbit. Paul Breed is making a serious attempt.
Because it's a relatively complex engineering problem, that takes a certain number of manhours of diverse engineering skills to be put into it.  On top of that, it's not a trivial operational and regulatory problem either. Unless you can license or buy large parts of the design off the shelf, like engines or avionics, there is just that amount of work needs to be done, there aren't many shortcuts.
SpaceX was around 500 people when they finally reached orbit, around 100 when they first tried. ... You can obviously do better, but as of today there aren't many ways of doing drastically better.
There isn't a "certain number" of hours. Nothing in physics says "well, they only put 20,000 man hours in instead of the requisite 500,000, so no orbit this time."
This is lazy thinking. It's still usually true, but not actually a certainty.

Specifically, I'm curious if VectorSS has the ingenuity, business acumen and intellectual base to develop and field a launch service without substantially expanding their company. This would dependent on a small number of brilliant minds, as well as strategic decisions production and on dual-use components. I this regard, I disagree with savoporo's assertion high number of engineers, manhours and investment is required for viability as history is full of examples of individuals besting entire industries and behemoth conglomerates in similar manner.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2017 03:26 PM
Quote
Agenda next week: another first;2nd stage static engine test this time in Tucson! Busy two weeks for us at Vector stay tuned! #NewSpaceRace

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893851505811349504
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 08/05/2017 03:49 PM
Specifically, I'm curious if VectorSS has the ingenuity, business acumen and intellectual base to develop and field a launch service without substantially expanding their company. This would dependent on a small number of brilliant minds, as well as strategic decisions production and on dual-use components. I this regard, I disagree with savoporo's assertion high number of engineers, manhours and investment is required for viability as history is full of examples of individuals besting entire industries and behemoth conglomerates in similar manner.

I'm curious what examples of an individual/really small team upending a heavy manufacturing industry you are thinking of? (That comes across as sarcasm/being an asshole but it's not intended to be, I'm genuinely curious).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/05/2017 05:51 PM


I'm curious what examples of an individual/really small team upending a heavy manufacturing industry you are thinking of? (That comes across as sarcasm/being an asshole but it's not intended to be, I'm genuinely curious).
Off the top of my head -- I'd submit Wernher von Braun educating the US on rocketry, developing Redstone, those lessons leading to Atlas and Titan, and delivering the Moon.

Well you could argue that he did it after the US helped him ship his entire team and about 300 train wagons of gear to White Sands. And all his knowledge was built with the backing of the Nazi regime, which gave him amazing resources. So that's not a great example.

Quote
Techies would submit, among plenty of examples, the four-man team that developed Android and sold it to Google.

Which was based of Linux, which is actually a much better example of one guy changing everything.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: RonM on 08/05/2017 06:25 PM
Here’s a quote that will warm your heart from Jim Cantrell:
@jamesncantrell  12h ago
“I have bug bites on my scalp after joining search for @vectorspacesys rocket yesterday in @CamdenSpaceport jungle w/ gators snakes & pigs” alongside a picture of an alligator he must have seen in the Camden "jungle."

They also posted a picture of a wild hog running by the rocket at the launch pad during their delay. Did they drive 1969 miles so they could launch with our pigs and alligators? I think these desert boys were quite surprised about Camden's wilderness!!!!

Welcome to the Georgia Coast.  :)

http://visitcoastalgeorgia.org/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/05/2017 06:30 PM
I'm curious what examples of an individual/really small team upending a heavy manufacturing industry you are thinking of? (That comes across as sarcasm/being an asshole but it's not intended to be, I'm genuinely curious).
Off the top of my head -- I'd submit Wernher von Braun educating the US on rocketry, developing Redstone, those lessons leading to Atlas and Titan, and delivering the Moon.
Army Ordnance Corps started with 127 individuals and a functioning V2 rocket, helped to maturity by years of Nazi slave labor. Took the backing of entire country and tens of thousands of talented hands and minds to get to the moon. Great .. example.

Quote
I'd submit the brilliant young engineer E. Gifford Emery who single-handedly developed the B-17 in 11mos, only reason Boeing exists today.
I'm not sure where you read your aviation history, but without Claire Egtvedt, legendary senior engineers like Charles Monteith and Bob Minshall, other young talent like Ed Wells, full workforce of Boeing Airplane Company, solid backing by USAAC and many other contributors B-17 wouldn't have existed. Emery didn't do anything "single-handedly".

Quote
Techies would submit, among plenty of examples, the four-man team that developed Android and sold it to Google.
Come on, software ? Plus, Android wasn't much of anything at the time it was sold. It took Google many years and big teams to turn it into a viable platform.

Quote
..Which was based of Linux, which is actually a much better example of one guy changing everything.
Linus designed a kernel which isn't much good for anything on its own. Without GNU userspace on top and initially dozens and now literally tens of thousands of contributors in kernel space it wouldn't be a thing. What Linus "changed" is establishing a well functioning nucleus and nurturing a model for .. coordinating contributions endless manhours under this "Linux" umbrella.

rant: I'm not sure where this push of discounting hard work of talented people and teams comes from. I've seen faulty logic along the lines of "look at this big project that was well funded and resources and it failed. This must mean that hard work and sufficient resources aren't necessary for success!"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Propylox on 08/05/2017 08:47 PM
I'm curious what examples of an individual/really small team upending a heavy manufacturing industry you are thinking of? (That comes across as sarcasm/being an asshole but it's not intended to be, I'm genuinely curious).
After a little more thought, I'd submit;
  Inventors; Preeminent, political, tech investor Edison's power grid lost to inventor Tesla's AC design. Eli Whitney's cotton gin revolutionized production and replaced all previous methods. Sam Colt made all men equal with the invention of the revolver to become the primary manufacturer. Motorhead and bike builder Glenn Curtiss developed the first self-powered flight and all early developments of aircraft design, control and production while the patent troll and conartist Wrights looked for investors and royalties. Roving gasoholic Bob Lutz saved multiple car companies from oblivion. Apple was the original technology populists and garage band.
  Scientists; This is a huge list dating back millennia, including Galileo and Copernicus for their correction of collective idiocy, Maxwell for recognizing electric and magnetic fields are one, and Einstein for recognizing mass and energy are one.
  Sociology; Individuals are the only true drivers like Mahatma Ghandhi, Che Guevera, Martin Luther King and Donald Trump overthrowing massive establishments. Religions are overthrown by individuals like Jesus, Buddah and Mohammad. Note - Let's not discuss these figures.
These examples are not applicable to VectorSS, but they may still be capable of reimagining the rocket's design, production and wisely selecting what to manufacture, to outsourced, and what off-the-shelf components can be repurposed (the "maker" approach). I'm wondering if anyone else thinks they have the mind/s to do it, or if they must compensate with quantity of minds, money and manhours.
In any system, including evolution itself, progress does not come from large institutions and collectivism. These can only offer something new, sometimes worse - sometimes better, while great advancements come from small groups and individuals. I ask if VectorSS, or any of the other rocketry garage bands have such individuals, or if they're just doing what everyone else is and have no real chance at success.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 08/06/2017 12:09 AM
After a little more thought, I'd submit;
  Inventors; Preeminent, political, tech investor Edison's power grid lost to inventor Tesla's AC design. Eli Whitney's cotton gin revolutionized production and replaced all previous methods. Sam Colt made all men equal with the invention of the revolver to become the primary manufacturer. Motorhead and bike builder Glenn Curtiss developed the first self-powered flight and all early developments of aircraft design, control and production while the patent troll and conartist Wrights looked for investors and royalties. Roving gasoholic Bob Lutz saved multiple car companies from oblivion. Apple was the original technology populists and garage band.
  Scientists; This is a huge list dating back millennia, including Galileo and Copernicus for their correction of collective idiocy, Maxwell for recognizing electric and magnetic fields are one, and Einstein for recognizing mass and energy are one.
  Sociology; Individuals are the only true drivers like Mahatma Ghandhi, Che Guevera, Martin Luther King and Donald Trump overthrowing massive establishments. Religions are overthrown by individuals like Jesus, Buddah and Mohammad. Note - Let's not discuss these figures.
These examples are not applicable to VectorSS, but they may still be capable of reimagining the rocket's design, production and wisely selecting what to manufacture, to outsourced, and what off-the-shelf components can be repurposed (the "maker" approach). I'm wondering if anyone else thinks they have the mind/s to do it, or if they must compensate with quantity of minds, money and manhours.
In any system, including evolution itself, progress does not come from large institutions and collectivism. These can only offer something new, sometimes worse - sometimes better, while great advancements come from small groups and individuals. I ask if VectorSS, or any of the other rocketry garage bands have such individuals, or if they're just doing what everyone else is and have no real chance at success.

First of all, I appreciate the thought that went into your answers. However. Edison was the creator of the industrial research park and had over 5,000 employees and obviously Tesla worked there. Tesla then started his own lab then of course hired a bunch of his own employees. Curtiss had 21,000 employees by 1916. Bob Lutz worked for GM which has tens of thousands of employees. All those people ran the industrial giants of their time.

Secondly, yes there are a lot of scientists and programmers that create kernels of ideas with small teams. However almost all of those still have to scale rapidly to be a commercial success. Snapchat has almost 2,000 employees and they put electronic filters on photos. Similarly of course leaders as individuals can effective huge change but they do it through the convincing of masses of people.

I didn't necessarily mean to drag this so OT but there is certainly a romantic notion that individuals upend entire industries by working out of their garage. That's just not based in reality. Some great ideas start at that scale but I don't know of any heavy manufactured product that has been a commercial success without access to large amounts of capital and talent to scale that idea. Point being Vector is going to need a factory and at least a few hundred people to have any chance of success.  They only thing that would enable them to avoid that is a crazy amount of manufacturing automation which they haven't even attempted let alone have some kind of novel step change approach to.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Propylox on 08/06/2017 12:09 AM
-snips-
According to the NOTAM, Vector was only approved to 5,500 feet but I saw the engine flameout at about 10 seconds which was probably about 1,200-1,500 feet. A back of the envelope calculation indicated that they might not have reached 200mph. Not only did they veer well off target (their video was clear on that), but to make things worse, they must have had a hard landing.
...
The attached file is the spot they launched from and is validated from their video. The rocket began to curve westerly almost as soon as it left the launch pad.
...
Beyond the promotional value for the proposed Spaceport Camden, Vector and their customer, it is hard to see what advancement was made by launching an unguided Class 3 amateur to a tiny fraction of the altitude and velocity needed to orbit.
This being the second of up to six test flights culminating in an orbital launch, does anyone expect the next to have an avionics package and articulating engine? That's really the point where a hobbyist rocket becomes a real one, even before VectorSS starts mounting their 2nd stage.
Will their launches be limited to 3,000m until avionics are added (not familiar with hobbyist rules) and will SOP be to run like he[[ from a wayward liquid rocket?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 08/06/2017 05:42 PM
This being the second of up to six test flights culminating in an orbital launch, does anyone expect the next to have an avionics package and articulating engine? That's really the point where a hobbyist rocket becomes a real one, even before VectorSS starts mounting their 2nd stage.

Vector has confirmed that their next test will have TVC, and thus presumably be able to fly in a straight line:
Quote from: Vector Space Systems Twitter
Will be under the same FAA waiver as Camden lots of good engineering can be had at low altitudes. Block 0.003 will feature thrust vectoring
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/893875895563206656
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/12/2017 12:03 AM
Quote
First ever remote test & our very first engine test at the proposed new Vector factory location in Tucson, AZ #Tucson

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/896109209959321600 (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/896109209959321600)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/12/2017 12:27 AM
Quote
Video of todays successful prototype 2nd stage engine test in Tucson, AZ

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/896121051985231873
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 08/19/2017 06:42 AM
Quote
Highlight video of the historic first launch at @CamdenSpaceport of our Vector-R prototype block 0.002 on August 3rd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OhdJ6xrxeo

Again I'm amazed they think nothing about showing OSHA violations in their promotional videos...
Working from a pallet on a forklift is not a good practice!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 08/19/2017 10:02 AM
Quote
Highlight video of the historic first launch at @CamdenSpaceport of our Vector-R prototype block 0.002 on August 3rd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OhdJ6xrxeo

Again I'm amazed they think nothing about showing OSHA violations in their promotional videos...
Working from a pallet on a forklift is not a good practice!
I love the way we never see anything more than the lift off. Everybody knows these things basically only fly just out of the frame at about a 30° angle to vertical.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 08/20/2017 11:22 PM
That's an interesting choice of location for "Camden Spaceport":  lots of highly flammable trees around and a high-voltage power line only meters from the pad.

Still, we know nothing ever goes wrong with rocket launch.   ::)
 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/23/2017 10:00 PM
Quote
2 B.002 patches avail now celebrating 1st launch @CamdenSpaceport & special Vector friends #LEMANS24 @CorvetteRacing goo.gl/hTQLvZ

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/900474362595127296
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 08/28/2017 05:16 AM
Not directly Vector, but Iceye, their prospective anchor customer raised a significant round

https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/23/microsatellite-radar-imaging-startup-raises-13m-to-launch-new-constellation/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 09/10/2017 04:39 PM
I Worked With Elon Musk And Learned That Intelligence Is Not The Key To Success (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/09/09/i-worked-with-elon-musk-and-learned-that-intelligence-is-not-the-key-to-success/)

The two parts of that sentence are independent variables...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/15/2017 05:32 PM
Quote
Just arrived our new composite winding machine! It will be used to wind carbon fiber fuel tanks and composite nozzles

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/908741131667570688
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/21/2017 03:35 AM
Quote
Some rocket eye candy for you today - Vector-R engineering/prototype composite fairing.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/910656431514304512
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: RDMM2081 on 09/21/2017 03:56 AM
Quote
Some rocket eye candy for you today - Vector-R engineering/prototype composite fairing.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/910656431514304512

Cool pictures.  Shiny.  Am I missing the part where it splits in half, or is that just the "prototype" factor?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/21/2017 08:26 PM
Quote
Some rocket eye candy for you today - Vector-R engineering/prototype composite fairing.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/910656431514304512

Cool pictures.  Shiny.  Am I missing the part where it splits in half, or is that just the "prototype" factor?

It's a nosecone for their suborbital vehicle. "Engineering prototype"
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/03/2017 12:31 AM
Had to remove a post (and a couple of responses to it) as it was from a since removed article on another site.

Also a time to point out that, unlike the person who posted it here, you never copy and paste from another site. It's called copyright and I'll ban people who breach that rule. If it was posted correctly, just the URL, it would still be a dead post due to the URL now being 404, but yeah. I hate it when people copy and paste my articles on other sites, so I'll come down hard on that.

(Imagine me with a "stern facial expression* whilst reading that ;))
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/06/2017 09:49 PM
Quote
Mass manufacturing rocket parts is part of plan to make & fly @vectorspacesys rockets by the 100's. Prototype nozzle in carbon fiber winding

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 10/07/2017 01:00 AM
Quote
Mass manufacturing rocket parts is part of plan to make & fly @vectorspacesys rockets by the 100's. Prototype nozzle in carbon fiber winding

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880)

Is it just me, or is it looking really wobbly there?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/07/2017 01:49 AM
Quote
Mass manufacturing rocket parts is part of plan to make & fly @vectorspacesys rockets by the 100's. Prototype nozzle in carbon fiber winding

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880)

Is it just me, or is it looking really wobbly there?
Yeah, but it's probably fine for what they're doing.

However, I don't understand the idea that they think they can make aerospace-quality carbon fiber rockets, throw them away each time, and out-compete those who reuse them. Especially if you're talking hundreds of launches. If "mass production" was just something you could throw in the mix to get cheap aerospace vehicles, you'd think Boeing would've mastered this long ago. Boeing makes over 500 737s every year, and they're not even cheaper per kilogram dry mass than SpaceX's rockets.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 10/07/2017 03:24 AM
Quote
Mass manufacturing rocket parts is part of plan to make & fly @vectorspacesys rockets by the 100's. Prototype nozzle in carbon fiber winding

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880)

Is it just me, or is it looking really wobbly there?
Yeah, but it's probably fine for what they're doing.

However, I don't understand the idea that they think they can make aerospace-quality carbon fiber rockets, throw them away each time, and out-compete those who reuse them. Especially if you're talking hundreds of launches. If "mass production" was just something you could throw in the mix to get cheap aerospace vehicles, you'd think Boeing would've mastered this long ago. Boeing makes over 500 737s every year, and they're not even cheaper per kilogram dry mass than SpaceX's rockets.

Airplanes are significantly more complicated than rockets. Like an order of magnitude more complicated. Airplanes have thousands of more parts, are pressurized, have to carry people, and last for 30 years+ with daily use.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/08/2017 12:45 PM
Vector won a small grant to experiment with autogenous pressurization systems:

https://govtribe.com/contract/award/nnx17cm65p

FLIGHT DEMONSTRATION OF A MICROPUMP-BASED STAGE PRESSURIZATION SYSTEM:

VECTOR LAUNCH, INC. PROPOSES TO APPLY RECENT ADVANCES IN MICROPUMP AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES TO DEVELOP AND DEMONSTRATE A MICROPUMP-BASED AUTOGENOUS PRESSURIZATION SYSTEM FOR ITS COMMERCIAL VECTOR-R FIRST STAGE AND MATURE THE TECHNOLOGY WITH MULTIPLE STATIC-FIRE-TESTS LEADING TO A DEMONSTRATION FLIGHT TEST (TRL 6). THE VECTOR-R IS A 2-STAGE PRESSURE-FED, LOX/SUBCOOLED PROPYLENE COMMERCIAL SMALL LAUNCH VEHICLE, DESIGNED TO PLACE UP TO 60 KG IN LOW EARTH ORBIT. IN THE PROPOSED CONCEPT, ELECTRICALLY-DRIVEN MICROPUMPS DRIVE A SMALL PORTION OF EACH PROPELLANT OVER A HEAT EXCHANGER AT THE ENGINE TO PRESSURIZE THE TANKS. EXCESS FLOW CAN BE DIVERTED TO THE ENGINE AS NEEDED.

So many documents on Vector on the web... stay tuned Jimmy.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Asteroza on 10/11/2017 07:24 AM
Wonder what kind of micropump...

Electric pump with expander output for chamber or autogenous pressurization. Neat trick.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: HMXHMX on 10/11/2017 05:41 PM
Wonder what kind of micropump...

Electric pump with expander output for chamber or autogenous pressurization. Neat trick.

TRW proposed a very similar solution for pressurization of a storable launch vehicle in the early 1970s; instead of a HX, it used direct injection of opposing propellant into tanks to generate pressurant gas.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LooksFlyable on 10/15/2017 11:01 PM
Quote
Mass manufacturing rocket parts is part of plan to make & fly @vectorspacesys rockets by the 100's. Prototype nozzle in carbon fiber winding

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/916411874249338880)

Is it just me, or is it looking really wobbly there?
Yeah, but it's probably fine for what they're doing.

However, I don't understand the idea that they think they can make aerospace-quality carbon fiber rockets, throw them away each time, and out-compete those who reuse them. Especially if you're talking hundreds of launches. If "mass production" was just something you could throw in the mix to get cheap aerospace vehicles, you'd think Boeing would've mastered this long ago. Boeing makes over 500 737s every year, and they're not even cheaper per kilogram dry mass than SpaceX's rockets.

Who's really reusing small sat launchers though? And more importantly, does it even make sense right now at this size? We've learned that a reusable system, basically means a rocket almost twice as big than an expendable one if you want the same payload. That does a lot to the cost of building that rocket in addition to the R&D of reusable technology.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/16/2017 05:23 AM
Who's really reusing small sat launchers though? And more importantly, does it even make sense right now at this size? We've learned that a reusable system, basically means a rocket almost twice as big than an expendable one if you want the same payload. That does a lot to the cost of building that rocket in addition to the R&D of reusable technology.

Vector's "reusable" == add some parachutes. Usual BS.

Actually you are right - at this size the economics are totally against real reusablity. I don't think Rocket Lab would (or with electric motors could) do it.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: envy887 on 10/16/2017 02:28 PM
Who's really reusing small sat launchers though? And more importantly, does it even make sense right now at this size? We've learned that a reusable system, basically means a rocket almost twice as big than an expendable one if you want the same payload. That does a lot to the cost of building that rocket in addition to the R&D of reusable technology.

Vector's "reusable" == add some parachutes. Usual BS.

Actually you are right - at this size the economics are totally against real reusablity. I don't think Rocket Lab would (or with electric motors could) do it.

Parachutes work way better for small systems, so I wouldn't rule that out just because it wouldn't work for EELV. Also, reuse economics are a lot more feasible at high flight rates, which could be much easier to achieve with a small vehicle.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 10/16/2017 08:26 PM
Who's really reusing small sat launchers though? And more importantly, does it even make sense right now at this size? We've learned that a reusable system, basically means a rocket almost twice as big than an expendable one if you want the same payload. That does a lot to the cost of building that rocket in addition to the R&D of reusable technology.

Vector's "reusable" == add some parachutes. Usual BS.

Actually you are right - at this size the economics are totally against real reusablity. I don't think Rocket Lab would (or with electric motors could) do it.

Parachutes work way better for small systems, so I wouldn't rule that out just because it wouldn't work for EELV. Also, reuse economics are a lot more feasible at high flight rates, which could be much easier to achieve with a small vehicle.

Not necessarily.  It's still a 2-stage vehicle where the spent first stage accommodates half the dV needed to go orbital, so bringing it back down at those speeds and heating levels isn't so easily fixed despite the low mass.  Any level of recovery systems needed for bringing the stage back home will count against the favorability of reuse.  The more mass they take up also counts against your sellable payload.  There's a lot more to it than just the parachutes.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: brickmack on 10/17/2017 03:05 AM
Actually you are right - at this size the economics are totally against real reusablity. I don't think Rocket Lab would (or with electric motors could) do it.

OT for this thread, but why should electric motors be incompatible with reusability? Rutherford has a quite impressive specific impulse by kerolox standards, getting into the low end of staged combustion territory (about halfway in between NK-33 and RD-180). Thrust to weight ratio is not great because of the battery mass, but likely isn't that horrible either (complete first stage mass can't be more than a couple hundred kg, and most of that is going to be structures and plumbing), and both should improve a little if they scaled up the engine (RocketLab did just trademark a couple more names for rocket engines). Operating conditions should be pretty gentle too, and engine restart is easier when you don't need a separate ignition to drive the turbopumps. Electron as it exists now is too small for reuse, but I think the overall concept would scale well to a large enough system
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/17/2017 06:21 AM
Power density. In principle it's possible of course but you need to add a lot more dead mass in terms of batteries to land it again if you have to power the pumps for a landing, in addition to the extra fuel - a double hit. They are much less efficient than a turbopump in that scenario. The electric cycle is both their greatest asset and greatest weakness IMHO. First stage mass in that vehicle will be about a 1000kg I would imagine - engines are a big chunk of that, plus batteries - and you can't jettison (all) batteries if you need them to land again.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/19/2017 02:44 PM
Quote
Cantrell: demand for larger Vector-H (150 kg payload,$3M) rocket at least as great, if not greater, as for Vector-R (60kg, $1.5M).

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/921021742730145793 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/921021742730145793)

Quote
Cantrell: next Vector test flight in January to test thrust vector control. First orbital launches in July from Wallops.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/921023565415239681 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/921023565415239681)

Orbital in July with next flight in January is quite a ramp-up.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 10/19/2017 02:46 PM
January - thrust vector control. July - orbit!

That's pretty funny.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/19/2017 03:05 PM
Vector Space is my favourite of the current crop of Space companies. They remind me of the exploits of Ron Obvious and Luigi Vercotti. Can't wait for next launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ra5h17EbC8
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/19/2017 03:37 PM


January - thrust vector control. July - orbit!

That's pretty funny.

When they say they will go to Orbit in July I keep thinking it is the name of a town near Albuquerque.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 10/19/2017 04:24 PM
January - thrust vector control. July - orbit!

That's pretty funny.



Because as we all know, LEO is halfway to anywhere, linear extrapolation places them on Neptune by October then.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 10/19/2017 04:27 PM
Ok, enough with the commentary on the timelines.  Yeah their schedule is probably a bit too aggressive, but that's not exactly a new thing in the industry.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/19/2017 04:54 PM
Ok, enough with the commentary on the timelines.  Yeah their schedule is probably a bit too aggressive, but that's not exactly a new thing in the industry.
Calling their schedule "a bit too aggressive" is like calling Hitler's invasion of France "a touch brusque".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/19/2017 06:35 PM
Quote
Exclusive: @Vectorspacesys signs first orbital deal with Virginia Space for 3 launches from @NASA_Wallops

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/921074267248320513 (https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/921074267248320513)

Article: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/19/vector-space-systems-signs-deal-with-virgina-space.html (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/19/vector-space-systems-signs-deal-with-virgina-space.html)

Edit to add:

Quote
"We have four different companies we're negotiating contracts with for the first four launches in 2018," Cantrell said.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: SkipMorrow on 10/20/2017 03:24 PM
Here's a little more info from the state website:
https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=21558
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Sam Ho on 10/24/2017 06:27 PM
They've apparently also signed up for a launch from Kodiak.
Quote
Finally, Vector Space Systems is expected to launch from PSCA in late 2018, according to Campbell.
http://akaerospace.com/news/commercial-rocket-launches-coming-kodiak-island
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/31/2017 04:28 PM
Quote
Vector Expands National Footprint with New Silicon Valley Headquarters
New office in San Jose to support Vector's software defined satellite division, GalacticSky

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced the opening of a new office in San Jose, California to expand its current business operations throughout the West Coast. Vector's Silicon Valley headquarters, its first office addition since beginning operations in 2016, will house a software engineering team responsible for the development of the first software defined satellites for GalacticSky. The new headquarters will also be influential in supporting GalacticSky's partnership with Citrix, as well as accommodating the company's growing sales and marketing teams.

"Silicon Valley is home to many leading technology companies and plays a central role in driving global innovation," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "San Jose offers a great opportunity for Vector to serve current and future markets by broadening our software engineering capabilities, specifically in our GalacticSky division. We are looking forward to establishing a presence in one of the country's largest technology hubs, right here in San Jose."

In conjunction with the opening of Vector's Silicon Valley headquarters, the company has also named Shaun Coleman Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Vector. Coleman, an early investor in Vector and current board member, has served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and General Manager of GalacticSky since 2016. As an enterprise software industry and Silicon Valley veteran, Coleman has had a proven track-record of startup success having founded three companies and leading several to a successful exit. In his new role at Vector, Coleman will be responsible for the company's entire customer experience, including Sales, Marketing and Business Development, in addition to his duties as the General Manager of GalacticSky.

"San Jose has not been home to a launch vehicle company since the 1960s and with our new office, we are excited to bring aerospace back to the area," said Shaun Coleman, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Vector. "As home to Vector's GalacticSky business unit and the sales and marketing teams, the Silicon Valley headquarters will be influential in establishing Vector as a leader in satellite virtualization and low-cost micro satellite launch services."

The 4000-square-foot space located at 100 Century Center Court, will house approximately 15 new hires across the company's marketing, sales, and software engineering departments. To learn more about the available positions and to apply, please visit Vector's Careers Web Page at https://vectorcareers.applicantpro.com/jobs/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-expands-national-footprint-with-new-silicon-valley-headquarters-300546156.html (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-expands-national-footprint-with-new-silicon-valley-headquarters-300546156.html)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/11/2017 05:54 AM
Quote
Successful test today of our first central spark igniter, using new 3D AM printed injector for stage 2 engine.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/929161161332867074
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: jongoff on 11/16/2017 06:16 AM
At NextSpace conference, they were still stating a target of July 2018 for orbital launch...

I'll refrain from commenting on the likelihood of that launch date.

~Jon
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/16/2017 06:18 AM
Quote
Successful test today of our first central spark igniter, using new 3D AM printed injector for stage 2 engine.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/929161161332867074
Vector just got a spark igniter working? What were they using before, a match?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/16/2017 07:03 AM
Vector just got a spark igniter working? What were they using before, a match?

They would be learning from the best, then: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a19966/russia-actually-lights-it-rockets-with-a-giant-match/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/16/2017 03:20 PM
Vector just got a spark igniter working? What were they using before, a match?

They would be learning from the best, then: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a19966/russia-actually-lights-it-rockets-with-a-giant-match/
I am not even going to click the link to know that is Soyuz, but Vector is not Soyuz.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: vaporcobra on 11/16/2017 06:35 PM
Interesting, Vector is testing at Vandenberg!
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931222922735132672

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DOxeTuFV4AETGnk.jpg:orig)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DOxeTuGVwAAMe5r.jpg:orig)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/16/2017 07:21 PM
Interesting, Vector is testing at Vandenberg!
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931222922735132672

So they attached a small LOX LN2 bottle and drain it to the boiloff vents... look at the second picture.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 11/16/2017 07:45 PM
Interesting, Vector is testing at Vandenberg!
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931222922735132672

Testing, posing, what's the difference really?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: saliva_sweet on 11/16/2017 07:55 PM
Oh no, there are people standing next to a fully fueled and venting rocket. Fortunately the cross will protect them.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: vaporcobra on 11/16/2017 09:01 PM
Interesting, Vector is testing at Vandenberg!
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931222922735132672

Testing, posing, what's the difference really?

Yeahhhh... would be vaguely less ridiculous if they actually had a functioning orbital rocket.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 11/16/2017 09:34 PM
Oh no, there are people standing next to a fully fueled and venting rocket. Fortunately the cross will protect them.

TBH, it's probably just LN2; there's no reason for them to be using LOX in a "test" like this.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: tleski on 11/16/2017 09:48 PM
Oh no, there are people standing next to a fully fueled and venting rocket. Fortunately the cross will protect them.

TBH, it's probably just LN2; there's no reason for them to be using LOX in a "test" like this.

Does anyone have any idea what are they testing actually? Or is this just a photo op?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 11/16/2017 09:55 PM
Does anyone have any idea what are they testing actually? Or is this just a photo op?

Dunno for certain, but there's a number of things they could be testing:
1. Structural support and logistics for raising and lowering at the pad.
2. Testing their tank pressurisation and instrumentation
3. Checking that the boiloff valves actually work in the vertical (and don't just freeze solid)
4. Testing their coolness factor...  :P
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/16/2017 10:45 PM
Does anyone have any idea what are they testing actually? Or is this just a photo op?

Dunno for certain, but there's a number of things they could be testing:
1. Structural support and logistics for raising and lowering at the pad.
2. Testing their tank pressurisation and instrumentation
3. Checking that the boiloff valves actually work in the vertical (and don't just freeze solid)
4. Testing their coolness factor...  :P


5. Check to see how many nuts corrode on the thing
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: catdlr on 11/17/2017 06:20 AM
Interesting, Vector is testing at Vandenberg!
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931222922735132672


location here: VAFB SLC-8 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Space+Launch+Complex+8/@34.5763325,-120.6330468,182m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xc813255229f33ec3!8m2!3d34.5776436!4d-120.6322139)

Quote
It was originally part of the California Spaceport, and was known as the Commercial Launch Facility (CLF) or Space Launch Facility (SLF).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_AFB_Space_Launch_Complex_8
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/17/2017 06:22 PM
Quote
The @vectorspacesys factory taking shape in Tucson.  Stay tuned as we begin Block 1 vehicle production.  First orbital launch mid 2018 !

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/931515096664236032

Edit to add:

Quote
So you're planning on going from a bare factory to a flight vehicle in only ~7mos? Doesn't that seem at least a little optimistic to you?
https://twitter.com/rocketrepreneur/status/931591272908840960

 ???
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/17/2017 06:44 PM
A reply to Jon’s question:

Quote
Nope, its only a optimistic for old aerospace -- its all in a days work for new space. "I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm asking you to watch me'" - Vector CEO @jamesncantrell

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931608328131588096

Not long to find out.

Edit to add:

Quote
Its a new factory for high rate production.  We have been in the existing space down the street for about 2 years.  Aren't you a bit pessimistic ?

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/931610477070659585
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/17/2017 07:21 PM
Given usual schedule shifts to right for this industry, I'd say Jon's pessimism is well founded. Here's hoping Vector hit their optimistic schedule but I wouldn't put much money on it.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 11/17/2017 07:28 PM
I think "orbital" is the one that raises most doubt.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: jongoff on 11/17/2017 10:50 PM
A reply to Jon’s question:

Quote
Nope, its only a optimistic for old aerospace -- its all in a days work for new space. "I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm asking you to watch me'" - Vector CEO @jamesncantrell

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931608328131588096

Not long to find out.

Edit to add:

Quote
Its a new factory for high rate production.  We have been in the existing space down the street for about 2 years.  Aren't you a bit pessimistic ?

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/931610477070659585

I would reply, but apparently Jim blocked me...

Oh, and it was pretty funny being "NewSpace-splained" by whoever runs Vectors twitter account...

~Jon
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: vaporcobra on 11/17/2017 11:59 PM
A reply to Jon’s question:

Quote
Nope, its only a optimistic for old aerospace -- its all in a days work for new space. "I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm asking you to watch me'" - Vector CEO @jamesncantrell

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931608328131588096

Not long to find out.

Edit to add:

Quote
Its a new factory for high rate production.  We have been in the existing space down the street for about 2 years.  Aren't you a bit pessimistic ?

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/931610477070659585

I would reply, but apparently Jim blocked me...

Oh, and it was pretty funny being "NewSpace-splained" by whoever runs Vectors twitter account...

~Jon

Now THAT'S more like the Cantrell I know and am deeply ambivalent about...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/18/2017 06:06 AM
A reply to Jon’s question:

Quote
Nope, its only a optimistic for old aerospace -- its all in a days work for new space. "I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm asking you to watch me'" - Vector CEO @jamesncantrell

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/931608328131588096

Not long to find out.

Edit to add:

Quote
Its a new factory for high rate production.  We have been in the existing space down the street for about 2 years.  Aren't you a bit pessimistic ?

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/931610477070659585

I would reply, but apparently Jim blocked me...

Oh, and it was pretty funny being "NewSpace-splained" by whoever runs Vectors twitter account...

~Jon

Now THAT'S more like the Cantrell I know and am deeply ambivalent about...
There is going to be a hubris moment.

They are out of their depth and even from outside you can see the community is turning against them.

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 11/18/2017 06:25 AM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/18/2017 06:51 AM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Pshaw. The Copenhagen guys are amateurs living on donations and they are doing a far better job than Vector technically. It's embarrassing that Vector raised several million and can't even get above the cloud base or steer the vehicle.

Copenhagen Suborbitals have produced a rocket that is streets ahead of that Vector pile of bolts - thrust vectoring, dynamic pressure regulation, actual inertial GNC control, 3D printed engines, spark ignition, telemetry....  take a look at Nexo:-

https://copenhagensuborbitals.com/roadmap/nexo-i/

https://copenhagensuborbitals.com/roadmap/nexo-ii/

Vector might have got a commitment from those VCs but that cash comes with constraints and milestones - the VCs will only pay them against progress, not in one lump at the front. That's why they moved into what looks like a rundown industrial unit instead of pursuing the world headquarters RFP (that they don't want anybody to read.)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 11/18/2017 08:01 AM
Did you just unironically say "streets ahead"? :P
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/18/2017 08:07 AM
Did you just unironically say "streets ahead"? :P

Are you also a Community fan?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/19/2017 04:48 PM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Also, actually hired a bunch of people for the job.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/19/2017 06:42 PM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Also, actually hired a bunch of people for the job.
In other words raised and spent a lot of money. Great. But what did that get them? Have they demo'd a vehicle realistically capable of orbiting the Earth? Not even close.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/19/2017 07:06 PM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Also, actually hired a bunch of people for the job.
In other words raised and spent a lot of money. Great. But what did that get them? Have they demo'd a vehicle realistically capable of orbiting the Earth? Not even close.


This is getting a little tiresome. Orbital Sciences Pegasus, SpaceX Falcon 1 and Rocket Lab Electron didn't demo a vehicle realistically capable of orbiting earth until they did, either.  They all did meet the prerequisites of raising and spending funding, lining up facilities and people to work on that very problem, though - which in itself is no guarantee of eventual success though, of course.

I'm not sure what the incessant bashing without any substance adds to the thread, though ?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Rabidpanda on 11/19/2017 09:01 PM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Also, actually hired a bunch of people for the job.
In other words raised and spent a lot of money. Great. But what did that get them? Have they demo'd a vehicle realistically capable of orbiting the Earth? Not even close.

These things take time, it's not like you can drop some cash and suddenly have a completed launch vehicle in a few months.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/19/2017 09:08 PM
These things take time, it's not like you can drop some cash and suddenly have a completed launch vehicle in a few months.

It's not me claiming they will have it done in 7 MONTHS, it's the CEO.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Rabidpanda on 11/19/2017 09:34 PM
These things take time, it's not like you can drop some cash and suddenly have a completed launch vehicle in a few months.

It's not me claiming they will have it done in 7 MONTHS, it's the CEO.

I completely agree, that is ridiculous. I can't tell if Cantrell is blinded by optimism or being intentionally misleading.

My post was disagreeing with your assertion that they should have something to show for all the money the've raised / people they've hired and your comparison of them to amateur groups that have been around much longer.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: JH on 11/19/2017 10:40 PM
Did you just unironically say "streets ahead"? :P

Are you also a Community fan?

When I read that in your post I thought for a moment that it might have somehow become a real phrase.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/19/2017 10:47 PM
These things take time, it's not like you can drop some cash and suddenly have a completed launch vehicle in a few months.

It's not me claiming they will have it done in 7 MONTHS, it's the CEO.

I completely agree, that is ridiculous. I can't tell if Cantrell is blinded by optimism or being intentionally misleading.

My post was disagreeing with your assertion that they should have something to show for all the money the've raised / people they've hired and your comparison of them to amateur groups that have been around much longer.

I do accept that. But that is the crux. Those groups have been around for a long time for sure, but if you are going to make claims about being orbit-capable you need ALL THAT THOSE GUYS HAVE WORKED ON FOR YEARS and many more capabilities on top, none of which they have shown to date. And as for statements like "GSC has been doing this for years" - no. GSC built suborbital rockets.

Even a rocket that was actually made up of a full length tank instead of a tiny little fake out in a hollow shell would be nice (see image), let alone GNC, termination, TVC etc etc:-

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6_UlAAVAAAordd.jpg)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/19/2017 10:49 PM
Did you just unironically say "streets ahead"? :P

Are you also a Community fan?

When I read that in your post I thought for a moment that it might have somehow become a real phrase.

Don't the Aussies use it?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 11/19/2017 11:02 PM
Don't the Aussies use it?

Brits have used it sparingly for a long time, yeah.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: JH on 11/19/2017 11:16 PM
Ah. That seems more plausible than a tragic invention of Pierce escaping into reality.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/20/2017 12:03 AM
Ah. That seems more plausible than a tragic invention of Pierce escaping into reality.
Pierce didn't coin it:-
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf1GSjo4zSY
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 11/20/2017 01:21 AM
Thanks for the correction, looks like you are right on that, but I think you understand the sentiment of what I am saying. There's just a lot more benefit to having 50-100 worldwide start-ups doing it than 3 or 4 billion dollar companies. At the smaller level you at least have some exciting things going on and companies willing to take risks on untried tech, whether it's aerospikes, completely 3D printed engines, SSTO attempts, sea-lunched rockets or pushing composites to the limits. I just have a hunch this is where the next big step forward in rocket development will come from.

An industry moving beyond the range of garage start-ups doesn't mean innovation has to be dead.

It costs billions of dollars to put together a factory to build modern microchips.  Nobody has built a chip in their garage for decades.  But that doesn't mean innovation is dead.  Chips have continued to get better because there is competition in the industry.  The important thing is that there is competition, not that start-ups can build a complete product in a garage.

I think space launch is beyond the garage phase.  And that's not so much about being able to build an orbital launcher, it's about being able to build a *competitive* orbital launcher.

I think we've been focused too long on launch as being the focus of innovation.  It's natural that we have because launch has been the bottleneck.  But that is ending.  Just as big, expensive chip factories enabled thousands of innovative software start-ups, the big, expensive reusable rockets of Space X, Blue Origin, and their eventual clones will enable innovative startups that make use of cheap launch.

But the cheap launch that enables so much innovation will come on large, reusable rockets, not on small expendable rockets.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/20/2017 01:56 AM
You could also do reusable small LV development, likely most cost effective, shortest development time, highest reuse, fastest accumulation of flight history.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 11/20/2017 01:58 AM
It's different. Many different's. Think of them like the Precambrian Explosion. Some might survive. Meh.

It's "different" alright:-

(http://i.imgur.com/FGKrFJl.png)
So you're saying that things are a little cartellish?

Maybe it'll be like the Japanese economic miracle I was just reading about where the myriad of companies involved were actually part of a small handful of large conglomerates (Mitsubishi, Sumotomi, etc).  So you had manufacturers selling to distributors financed by banks that were really all the same company. That worked out well for a while there.

But the Japanese conglomerates were real companies with sufficient funding.  The point is that in the case of Vector the orders Vector has are suspicious because they come from other companies that are not just related but also themselves have questionable funding situations.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 11/20/2017 02:02 AM
You could also do reusable small LV development, likely most cost effective, shortest development time, highest reuse, fastest accumulation of flight history.

If there weren't already any larger reusable launchers, I'd agree with you.  It could be faster to develop a small reuable launcher than a larger one.

But given the trajectories SpaceX and Blue Origin are on, start-ups trying to do small reusable launchers will be up against them, and that's a losing game because the economies of scale favor the larger launchers once they exist.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 11/20/2017 04:48 AM
You could also do reusable small LV development, likely most cost effective, shortest development time, highest reuse, fastest accumulation of flight history.

If there weren't already any larger reusable launchers, I'd agree with you.  It could be faster to develop a small reuable launcher than a larger one.

But given the trajectories SpaceX and Blue Origin are on, start-ups trying to do small reusable launchers will be up against them, and that's a losing game because the economies of scale favor the larger launchers once they exist.

Unless specific orbits for specific, small, "primary" payload only launches ... are the target market. Unserved by larger launchers.

Such as SSO and other earth sensing/imaging/"staring" niche markets. Approx $0.5B per annum.

If the market for such orbits really is $500 million a year, then the large reusable launchers will serve it.

The only way the large reusable launchers won't serve an orbit is if the demand for that orbit is very low.  And if that's the case, it will be too low to support Vector or any of the other small launchers.

Small launchers are caught between a rock at and hard place.  On the one hand, they need to have low per-launch costs, so they need demand to be high so they can do lots of launches each year.  But on the other hand if the demand is high enough to make them economically viable, it's large enough to be served by the large launchers with dedicated launches of many smallsats in each launch, and then those large launchers will be so much cheaper per satellite that the small launchers will lose nearly all their business to them.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 11/20/2017 05:02 AM
We're here again are we?

The market here is on-demand launch. The size of the payload is peripheral to that.

If there's a market for bigger payloads that need to sign a contract on Monday and launch on Thursday, they'll get serviced too, someday.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 11/20/2017 06:53 AM
You could also do reusable small LV development, likely most cost effective, shortest development time, highest reuse, fastest accumulation of flight history.

Is it economically viable to try to reuse this class of LV?

If the launch price is $1.5M (Vector-R), the build cost can't be more than ~$500K, because they also have to pay range costs / campaign variables and they have to make a margin to pay the overhead.

By the time to recover, repair, and get it ready for reflight, did you save anything at all over a fresh build for this class of LV?

Even assuming the cheapest possible recovery - probably parachute - an orbital shot is certainly launching over ocean. This is actually shown in the Vector PUG. How do they recover that from downrange without adding quite a chunk of operational cost? What about salt water damage if they do? Plus, adding a parachute detracts from an already small payload capacity.

I can see the case for recovering a F9, but in this class, I really wonder if it is economically worthwhile. I don't think people like RL or VO are talking about reusability (except the 747), or did I miss that?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 11/20/2017 07:13 AM
We're here again are we?

The market here is on-demand launch. The size of the payload is peripheral to that.

If there's a market for bigger payloads that need to sign a contract on Monday and launch on Thursday, they'll get serviced too, someday.

I just haven't seen much evidence of a market for that.  I'm not saying people wouldn't like to sign a contract Monday and launch Thursday.  But I haven't seen evidence they're willing to pay a huge premium for that privilege.

The U.S. military likes the idea of that kind of low-latency launch capability.  But can that kind of military demand support the business model of these companies?  It seems like their business model is regular flights 50 or more times a year.  The military is likely to only need the services on rare occasions when some crisis happens.  And even then, the military seems pretty addicted to large satellites, and they have the money to have SpaceX and Blue Origin on retainer to do special flights for them when the crisis hits.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 11/20/2017 08:49 AM
I just haven't seen much evidence of a market for that.

Me either. That's the whole gamble here. If you build it they will come.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 11/20/2017 08:26 PM
It looks like Vector is like a circus impresario, making a share of the revenue of putting on "launch events".

Because they can launch from almost anywhere with almost anyone, they cut deals on everything, figuring that a) if the costs are too high, they'll go elsewhere, and b) if they want to increase pad/range/services usage frequency, they'll cut things to give the best price. (You might not know this, but many launch facilities are highly under utilized, and the longer they go underutilized, the less they are utilized. So they want occasional use to help keep them alive and bid on other launch opportunities.) So "service cherry picking" greatly reduces Vector's out of pocket.

Now fixed base operators (FBO's) that launch, like ULA/SX/RL/others, cut long ranged deals and endure total cost of facilities, not just per launch costs. These are significant costs, and mandate high flight rate to work down those costs. If there is a "stand down" of the facility/vehicle, they are still paying those costs in perpetuity.

So one needs to examine margin carefully to see where this becomes profitable.

Can Vector launch from almost anywhere though? They still need to be launched from a licensed location most likely in the United States (or on a barge) because of ITAR. There are still only a handful of licensed launch locations and most of them are the usual suspects everyone else uses. Rocket Lab gets around this problem by having their own site and Virgin's plane is essentially their launch pad. I'm not sure that Vector has a solution other than go to whatever site is least busy unless Camden gets build out or something.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: jongoff on 11/21/2017 03:20 AM

Seriously, what have they done that is in any way better or more sophisticated than the Nexo rocket of Copenhagen Suborbitals?


Raising money.
Also, actually hired a bunch of people for the job.
In other words raised and spent a lot of money. Great. But what did that get them? Have they demo'd a vehicle realistically capable of orbiting the Earth? Not even close.


To be fair to Jim, they've only raised the money recently. It takes time from when you raise money and build a team until when you can demo significant technical feats. That said, that's precisely why I'm skeptical they'll be making an orbital launch attempt this coming summer. Their technical progress relative to the timing of when they've received money isn't bad. I just don't like how much they overhype what they have accomplished.

~Jon
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: jongoff on 11/21/2017 03:28 AM
But given the trajectories SpaceX and Blue Origin are on, start-ups trying to do small reusable launchers will be up against them, and that's a losing game because the economies of scale favor the larger launchers once they exist.

We should probably find a different home for this argument, but I think this assertion is probably quite wrong for most markets.

~Jon
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 11/21/2017 06:34 AM
To be fair to Jim, they've only raised the money recently. It takes time from when you raise money and build a team until when you can demo significant technical feats. That said, that's precisely why I'm skeptical they'll be making an orbital launch attempt this coming summer. Their technical progress relative to the timing of when they've received money isn't bad. I just don't like how much they overhype what they have accomplished.

~Jon

Honest question, what has Vector achieved above what Garvey already had when they were acquired?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: savuporo on 11/21/2017 07:08 AM
Honest question, what has Vector achieved above what Garvey already had when they were acquired?

About $32M in funding and about 30 FTEs.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 11/21/2017 02:00 PM
Honest question, what has Vector achieved above what Garvey already had when they were acquired?

About $32M in funding and about 30 FTEs.

I was specifically referring to this.

“Their technical progress relative to the timing of when they've received money isn't bad.”
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: tvg98 on 11/30/2017 10:09 PM
https://vimeo.com/245272569 (https://vimeo.com/245272569)

If anything, they have a good taste in music.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/01/2017 04:11 AM
Strange video for rocket company. Looks more like what building architect produced to sell their design to Vector.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 12/01/2017 07:30 PM
Uff, too much bright orange for my tastes. It would make to work overexcited all day long.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 12/06/2017 03:29 PM
It was such a gray, dreary, depressing morning and now I can't stop laughing.  Thanks Vector.

Quote
Vector Announces Selection of Construction Team, Begins Production of First Orbital Vehicle (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-announces-selection-of-construction-team-begins-production-of-first-orbital-vehicle-300567567.html?tc=eml_cleartime)


TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced it has selected a final construction team to build its state-of-the-art launch vehicle manufacturing facility in Tucson, Ariz. Vector selected Holladay Properties as the lead developer on the project, Barker Contracting as the contractor, and architects from Swaim Associates LTD to carry out Vector's vision for the new factory.

Over the last year, the City of Tucson, Pima County and the Arizona Commerce Authority led the facility development through a public-private partnership agreement to further the economic advancement of the Arizona technology and aerospace industry. Vector's new facility, expected to be completed by early 2019, will bring 200 jobs to the Tucson area including jobs in engineering, manufacturing and technical support. The public-private partnership is expected to have an overall direct and indirect economic impact on the region totaling $290 million over the next five years.

"Vector is extremely proud to call Arizona home and we look forward to growing our foothold in the area with this brand-new manufacturing facility," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector.  "We've made huge strides in technical progress and vehicle production this year, ramping up to producing our goal of one hundred rockets per year. By building this new facility, we're not only going to be adding jobs, but we will be providing many with the ability to launch careers in aerospace."

Vector's 92,500 square-foot factory will feature two soft-production facilities, a 30,750 square-foot two-story office space for its headquarters and a dedicated area for special projects including research and development.  The future facility is designed to produce 100 vehicles per year to start, with room to expand production across two additional manufacturing floors, increasing potential production to up to 200 vehicles per year. Vector has also begun production of its first orbital launch vehicle in its existing facilities, also in Ariz., continuing its progress towards achieving the company's goal of a successful orbital launch in Q2 2018.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Vector to build their new home in Arizona," said Brian Barker, President at Barker Contracting. "Vector's vision for their manufacturing facility and headquarters was a natural fit for Barker Contracting's expertise and we look forward to building a space designed specifically for their team."

About Vector

Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/

SOURCE Vector

Related Links

http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/06/2017 03:42 PM
Agree this is way over the top.

Met with a Vector investor yesterday. Seems quite happy with the state of things.

Suggest its the Musk time dilation factor and hype, only taken to a new level. Inspires early investors in a like kind.

Suggest that scoring it, like scoring early SX was, is more of on a capability demonstration basis. Not "dangerous" yet, "mostly harmless".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 12/06/2017 04:04 PM
Not "dangerous" yet, "mostly harmless".

Can you elaborate on that?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/06/2017 04:18 PM
Not "dangerous" yet, "mostly harmless".

Can you elaborate on that?
Sure. By example?

RL has left "mostly harmless". SX has been "dangerous" for about a decade. Majority of new space launchers never reach "mostly harmless".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/06/2017 06:36 PM
https://vimeo.com/245272569 (https://vimeo.com/245272569)

If anything, they have a good taste in music.

I wonder if they paid the copyright owner to use that song?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 12/06/2017 09:18 PM
Met with a Vector investor yesterday. Seems quite happy with the state of things.

Confirmation bias is like that.

I like watching Vector... they do stuff... much better than watching Virgin Orbit - or basically any of the other microlauncher companies (except RocketLab of course), who don't share their progress.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 12/07/2017 12:01 PM
Met with a Vector investor yesterday. Seems quite happy with the state of things.

Confirmation bias is like that.

I like watching Vector... they do stuff... much better than watching Virgin Orbit - or basically any of the other microlauncher companies (except RocketLab of course), who don't share their progress.

I think there's a reason for that.  More often than not, the hype is inversely related to what's actually under the hood.  As companies progress, develop IP, and build ITAR-restricted facilities, tweeting and filming everything you do on the march to launch becomes untenable.  Dollars to donuts if Vector actually gets somewhere, they'll be sharing a lot less in the future too.

I've also seen a lot of publicity on progress out of those other companies, over and above what you'd expect from the launch business.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/07/2017 12:40 PM
I see a lot of people joking about Vector, but I've been following the company on Twitter, as well as Cantrell ... well, I like this guy. He's chatty, always responds when asked something, always willing to show what's going on. Maybe you have reasons to be sceptical, but hey - I like how things are being done there.

Meanwhile, there are two low atmospheric flights of the rocket, and the second one carried a customer payload. Thus I'm optimist.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/07/2017 02:37 PM
Quote
S1 Flight Tank for @vectorspacesys B1.001 ready for delivery. This is a carbon fiber wound liquid oxygen tank that also serves as the main vehicle fuselage. We are on schedule for a mid 2018 vehicle ready for orbital launch. Stay tuned.

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/938793982825414656 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/938793982825414656)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: meberbs on 12/07/2017 03:50 PM
I see a lot of people joking about Vector, but I've been following the company on Twitter, as well as Cantrell ... well, I like this guy. He's chatty, always responds when asked something, always willing to show what's going on. Maybe you have reasons to be sceptical, but hey - I like how things are being done there.

Meanwhile, there are two low atmospheric flights of the rocket, and the second one carried a customer payload. Thus I'm optimist.
I'd like them to succeed, but those "flights of the rocket" raised my skepticism. The available information indicates that other than the engine, nothing in the structure of what they flew had any commonality with their actual rocket whatsoever. (Correct me if I missed something) They do seem to be making progress, but their flights seem to have basically been publicity stunts, which is not a reason you want a company to be launching.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/07/2017 04:11 PM
I see a lot of people joking about Vector, but I've been following the company on Twitter, as well as Cantrell ... well, I like this guy. He's chatty, always responds when asked something, always willing to show what's going on. Maybe you have reasons to be sceptical, but hey - I like how things are being done there.

Meanwhile, there are two low atmospheric flights of the rocket, and the second one carried a customer payload. Thus I'm optimist.
I'd like them to succeed, but those "flights of the rocket" raised my skepticism. The available information indicates that other than the engine, nothing in the structure of what they flew had any commonality with their actual rocket whatsoever. (Correct me if I missed something) They do seem to be making progress, but their flights seem to have basically been publicity stunts, which is not a reason you want a company to be launching.

Yes, it's all for publicity, but frankly I think it's not much different than what SpaceX was doing early on. For example, in 2003 Elon Musk took a mockup of a Falcon 1 to Washington DC for a grand unveiling. A launch of the Falcon 1 wasn't even attempted until 2006.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/07/2017 04:34 PM
RL did something similar with Electron last year. I think their display Electron had real engines and tanks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/07/2017 04:43 PM
Jim Cantrell was at early SX as VP Business Development. Quite the self-promoter too. John Garvey was also involved in the formation of SX (part of DD IIRC). Both have a different view than SX as to how to prove a launch business.

A fair comparison is that they are at the "extreme model rocketry" level in terms of demonstrated capability, largely from GSC components placed in new aeroframe, and launched on a mobile launcher that used a rail from a model rocketry site.

Hard to separate the huge hype cloud from a potential capability proving. What makes it worse is an investor rivalry where a "fog of war" is a deliberate, intentional means to make it hard here. (It also makes it a joke or foolish all the time.)

That tank upthread is the most interesting development. If they fly with it, they'll need range access and likely either a special waiver or license, as they'll well exceed certain heights.

Garvey's propulsion has been pressure fed propylene and LOX. You could make the disposable, automated manufacturable concept work in theory. But will it always remain a "model rocketry" project? A joke forever?

(Have evaluated lots of "low tech" launch before, including spin stabilized systems in the past that have made orbit. There have been much more ridiculous things that have succeeded. But they never got a foothold.)

All small LV's are up against the "Falcon 1" problem - you get it to work, and then you leave it for something more desirable.

(I talk to those with payloads. The unseen thing here isn't the LV but the business case served. Narrow and problematic.)

If you're going to succeed at it, you have to address that narrow case deftly. Falcon 1 did not, and never could have. Yet it was an admirable success that launched SX.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 12/07/2017 06:25 PM
Confirmation bias is like that.

I like watching Vector... they do stuff... much better than watching Virgin Orbit - or basically any of the other microlauncher companies (except RocketLab of course), who don't share their progress.

I agree that Vector is the most fun company to follow. They definitely post a lot more than others on social media and some pretty detailed stuff. To be fair to Virgin Orbit they do answer questions in their thread on this forum. None of us just ask any very often.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/07/2017 07:02 PM
A fair comparison is that they are at the "extreme model rocketry" level in terms of demonstrated capability, largely from GSC components placed in new aeroframe, and launched on a mobile launcher that used a rail from a model rocketry site.

This is a reasonably fair description of what we have seen so far.

Quote
That tank upthread is the most interesting development.

I am more impressed by that tank than anything else they have done to date. I don't think they built it, but still that looks a credible piece of hardware.

Quote
The unseen thing here isn't the LV but the business case served. Narrow and problematic

Not a problem if the core plan is to ramp up the value and parachute out as soon as possible...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/10/2017 04:18 PM
10 min talk giving Vector overview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-C74pJVSYQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-C74pJVSYQ)

Quote
Jim Cantrell: Lift-off for More Accessible Space Exploration
Published on 7 Dec 2017
Slush 2017 gave a good lift-off for more accessible space exploration. Here's a keynote by Jim Cantrell, CEO and Co-Founder of Vector.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: whatever11235 on 12/10/2017 10:45 PM
So first orbital launch july 2018. Factory being done early 2019, and then 100-400 launches a year. Cantrell time might be worse than Elon time.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/12/2017 10:01 AM
So first orbital launch july 2018. Factory being done early 2019, and then 100-400 launches a year. Cantrell time might be worse than Elon time.
He also has a measurement distortion field where a 2-3km altitude = suborbital. Technically that is true, in the same way a paper airplane is suborbital.

It just occurred to me that the reason Cantrell is pushing these dates is that he is deliberately trying to beat Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit to orbit. If those guys have failures (which is always possible) he will use anything even close to orbit as a claim that Vector were first.

SpaceGhost may be right that there are some investor egos driving this.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 12/12/2017 11:45 AM
Someone could really just ask him that if first orbital launch is July of 2018, to confirm they’ve surely already submitted an FAA launch license application that fully describes the launch system design and associated range safety or autonomous flight termination systems to be used. Or they could ask Wallops & Camden.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 12/12/2017 04:28 PM
So first orbital launch july 2018. Factory being done early 2019, and then 100-400 launches a year. Cantrell time might be worse than Elon time.
He also has a measurement distortion field where a 2-3km altitude = suborbital. Technically that is true, in the same way a paper airplane is suborbital.

It just occurred to me that the reason Cantrell is pushing these dates is that he is deliberately trying to beat Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit to orbit. If those guys have failures (which is always possible) he will use anything even close to orbit as a claim that Vector were first.

SpaceGhost may be right that there are some investor egoes driving this.

Is his plan to get to orbit by not using any guidance, and just launching at an incline like the Japanese Lambda family of rockets? Seems like with the progress they've been making, it's the only option.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 12/12/2017 07:33 PM
Is his plan to get to orbit by not using any guidance, and just launching at an incline like the Japanese Lambda family of rockets? Seems like with the progress they've been making, it's the only option.

The next flight will have thrust vector control (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/921023565415239681), so no.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 12/15/2017 09:32 AM
If you look closely in the RL livestream (and know who to look for), one of those "investor ego's" is visible. (I've known him since the early 80's. He was one of the ones responsible for getting me into start-ups.)

Are you an investor too?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/18/2017 01:42 PM
Quote
Vector and Astro Digital Join Forces for Dedicated Launch
Nanosatellite launch company takes critical next step with announcement of first dedicated customer mission

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Vector
Dec 14, 2017, 12:00 ET
     
TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced that it will join forces with Astro Digital, a leader in real-time satellite imagery data, to conduct a dedicated launch in 2018 featuring one of Astro Digital's satellites for remote sensing applications. Astro Digital plans to engage Vector to launch at least twelve such satellites as part of a larger constellation, with an option to then continue operations at a pace of two to four dedicated satellite launches per year.

"Vector has taken several critical steps over the last ten months to prove we are the leading nanosatellite launch company, including two successful test launches as well as other tests to demonstrate our technology to the market. We have also had great success building partnerships with other leading companies in the aerospace industry, including our first dedicated launch customer, Astro Digital," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "Astro Digital was looking for a partner who could provide dedicated launch services to ensure their payload enters orbit successfully, and we're looking forward to catering to their unique needs in a way that no other launch provider can."

Astro Digital's Landmapper-HD satellite will catch a dedicated ride on Vector's Vector-R launch vehicle in 2018. Headquartered at NASA Ames Research Park in California, Astro Digital's mission is to monitor the whole Earth, every day, with the highest quality data possible from a constellation of small satellites so companies monitor, measure, and map change.

Astro Digital will have Landmapper satellites in orbit by the end of 2017 and an operational constellation of 30 multi-spectral imaging satellites by the end of 2019 to monitor the globe multiple times per day. With images in both high and moderate definition, Astro Digital's satellites allow for quick analysis and intelligence gathering. Vector will continue to support Astro Digital's goal by providing dedicated launch services for their small satellites at a launch rate and cost that other competitors are unable to match.     

"Having the opportunity to put a payload on Vector's recent sub-orbital launch and being able to test our hardware under real-life conditions really solidified our decision to join forces," said Chris Biddy, CEO and co-founder of Astro Digital. "Launches continue to be one of the biggest risk factors for our business, but partnering for a dedicated launch with Vector means we set the orbit and we set the launch date, which effectively lowers our risk and cost."

After securing a $21M Series A round led by Sequoia Capital earlier this year, Vector has accelerated its flight test series and initiated pathfinding operations at several proposed launch sites. In August, the company completed a successful commercial sub-orbital mission at Spaceport Camden in Georgia and more recently announced that it will conduct at least three orbital launches from Virginia Spaceport's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport over the next two years. Vector recently opened its Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose and will break ground on its launch vehicle manufacturing facility in Pima County, Ariz. next year.

About Vector

Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/

About Astro Digital

Astro Digital is enabling big data analytics from space. We monitor Earth from space with our constellation of multi-spectral Landmapper satellites and a dedicated software platform for imagery analysis and distribution.  With a team of engineers, developers and data scientists based on NASA's Moffett Field, we're monitoring commercially active land use to model global change and analyze local activity for a variety of business needs. For more information, visit: www.astrodigital.com

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-and-astro-digital-join-forces-for-dedicated-launch-300571117.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/22/2017 03:34 PM
Quote
On the heels of our announcement with @NxsEarth partnership with @vectorspacesys #GalacticSky we have released the first design images of our Block 0 satellite. Stay tuned !

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/944242170071990272 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/944242170071990272)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/22/2017 05:45 PM
Quote
On the heels of our announcement with @NxsEarth partnership with @vectorspacesys #GalacticSky we have released the first design images of our Block 0 satellite. Stay tuned !

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/944242170071990272 (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/944242170071990272)
pictures of other version showing fully deployed state:
Captions:
1: First look — rendering of a prototype GalacticSky Software Defined Satellite. Dimensions; dish 1/2 meter, center chassis and panel segments are 15 x 30 inches (roughly the size of a mini-tower desktop computer) Coming soon... @NxsEarth
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: GWH on 12/31/2017 12:35 AM
Now this is interesting, satellite based block chain currency:

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/vector-nexus-join-space-race-plans-satellite-based-blockchain-network/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/31/2017 07:18 AM
Now this is interesting, satellite based block chain currency:

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/vector-nexus-join-space-race-plans-satellite-based-blockchain-network/
Not even going to click the link because I am sure it is Cantrell's son involved.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: whatever11235 on 12/31/2017 12:46 PM
Now this is interesting, satellite based block chain currency:

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/vector-nexus-join-space-race-plans-satellite-based-blockchain-network/

Altcoin owner Colin Cantrell teaming up with Jim Cantrell, sprinkle everything with some "blockchain", hottest buzzword today.

Nothing to see here, move along.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/31/2017 12:54 PM
Now this is interesting, satellite based block chain currency:

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/vector-nexus-join-space-race-plans-satellite-based-blockchain-network/

There was already an earlier project with satellite based blockchain storage called BitSat by a company called Dunvegan Space Systems. But this appears to have been put on hold.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/bitsat.htm
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: GWH on 01/01/2018 05:03 PM
Now this is interesting, satellite based block chain currency:

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/vector-nexus-join-space-race-plans-satellite-based-blockchain-network/
Not even going to click the link because I am sure it is Cantrell's son involved.
Is there something about him that puts you off?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 01/01/2018 07:10 PM
Now this is interesting, satellite based block chain currency:

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/vector-nexus-join-space-race-plans-satellite-based-blockchain-network/
Not even going to click the link because I am sure it is Cantrell's son involved.
Is there something about him that puts you off?
Apart from it being yet another connection between Vector and a venture where the CEO has a direct personal interest?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: GWH on 01/01/2018 07:37 PM


Apart from it being yet another connection between Vector and a venture where the CEO has a direct personal interest?

Do you have similar opposition to SpaceX's constellation or feel this is in particular unfairly funneling VC funds to family side projects?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/02/2018 01:56 AM
Warning - very reddit.  ::)
Fluffy Pony pretends to be a nobody while Colin Cantrell pitches him his Nexus shitcoin at the TNABC (https://www.reddit.com/r/Monero/comments/5qofq6/fluffy_pony_pretends_to_be_a_nobody_while_colin/)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: whatever11235 on 01/02/2018 12:22 PM
Warning - very reddit.  ::)
Fluffy Pony pretends to be a nobody while Colin Cantrell pitches him his Nexus shitcoin at the TNABC (https://www.reddit.com/r/Monero/comments/5qofq6/fluffy_pony_pretends_to_be_a_nobody_while_colin/)

From that thread  ;D

Quote
Colin Cantrell is like Charlie from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 01/02/2018 03:45 PM


Apart from it being yet another connection between Vector and a venture where the CEO has a direct personal interest?

Do you have similar opposition to SpaceX's constellation or feel this is in particular unfairly funneling VC funds to family side projects?
Musk built SpaceX with his own money, and until recently there was no crossing of interests between the various companies he owns. The move to satellites is natural.

Jim Cantrell took a bunch of investor cash and is a board advisor to two of his anchor clients (Iceye and York) as well as being the key shareholder at Vector. And now his son is partnering somehow.

In a normal business this would be very difficult to justify.

I would not use more pejorative words but it's obvious they are looking to IPO and cash out as soon as the market will let them.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: GWH on 01/02/2018 03:47 PM
Warning - very reddit.  ::)
Fluffy Pony pretends to be a nobody while Colin Cantrell pitches him his Nexus shitcoin at the TNABC (https://www.reddit.com/r/Monero/comments/5qofq6/fluffy_pony_pretends_to_be_a_nobody_while_colin/)

Gave that a full listen.
Fully explains and justifies the skepticism on this venture.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 01/05/2018 09:16 PM
Warning - very reddit.  ::)
Fluffy Pony pretends to be a nobody while Colin Cantrell pitches him his Nexus shitcoin at the TNABC (https://www.reddit.com/r/Monero/comments/5qofq6/fluffy_pony_pretends_to_be_a_nobody_while_colin/)

Gave that a full listen.
Fully explains and justifies the skepticism on this venture.
It gets worse as you read more:-

https://www.reddit.com/r/nexusearth/comments/7idvku/is_nexusearth_dead_is_this_a_pump_and_dump_thats

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/20/2018 11:40 AM
Quote
Flight tanks for @vectorspacesys Block 1 orbital vehicle ready for integration.  Planned launch in July 2018.  Stay tuned !

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/954571875513806849
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Step55 on 01/20/2018 12:51 PM
For their own safety, I hope they have a competent structural steel fabricator.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/24/2018 04:38 AM
Quote
Prototype 2nd stage fuel tanks and fairing being attached for the first time today

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/956016800604573697
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 01/24/2018 11:22 PM
Looks like the label on the tank might say "Scorpius".   Scorpius Space Launch Company sells "All-Composite Cryogenic Pressure Vessels" it says here:  http://www.scorpius.com/

 - Ed Kyle

Because nothing screams cost-effectiveness more than racing towards a 2018 orbital launch date with horizontal integration, a non-representative baseline vehicle, and architectural concept drawings of an empty factory.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 01/24/2018 11:54 PM
Looks like the label on the tank might say "Scorpius".   Scorpius Space Launch Company sells "All-Composite Cryogenic Pressure Vessels" it says here:  http://www.scorpius.com/

 - Ed Kyle

Because nothing screams cost-effectiveness more than racing towards a 2018 orbital launch date with horizontal integration, a non-representative baseline vehicle, and architectural concept drawings of an empty factory.

Your comment about horizontal integration seems a bit out of left field.... Most new launcher do that. Otherwise, yes, they do not seem anywhere close to being ready.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 01/25/2018 12:02 AM
Looks like the label on the tank might say "Scorpius".   Scorpius Space Launch Company sells "All-Composite Cryogenic Pressure Vessels" it says here:  http://www.scorpius.com/

 - Ed Kyle

Because nothing screams cost-effectiveness more than racing towards a 2018 orbital launch date with horizontal integration, a non-representative baseline vehicle, and architectural concept drawings of an empty factory.

Your comment about horizontal integration seems a bit out of left field.... Most new launcher do that. Otherwise, yes, they do not seem anywhere close to being ready.

Sure some do, but generally not when trying to hit the price point these guys are holding themselves to.  Hence the cost-effectiveness comment.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/25/2018 12:23 AM
Looks like the label on the tank might say "Scorpius".   Scorpius Space Launch Company sells "All-Composite Cryogenic Pressure Vessels" it says here:  http://www.scorpius.com/

 - Ed Kyle

Because nothing screams cost-effectiveness more than racing towards a 2018 orbital launch date with horizontal integration, a non-representative baseline vehicle, and architectural concept drawings of an empty factory.

Your comment about horizontal integration seems a bit out of left field.... Most new launcher do that. Otherwise, yes, they do not seem anywhere close to being ready.

Sure some do, but generally not when trying to hit the price point these guys are holding themselves to.  Hence the cost-effectiveness comment.

You do realize both the Electron and Falcon 9/Heavy are horizontally integrated, and all 3 are the cheapest access to space in their respective lift categories.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: xyv on 01/25/2018 02:05 AM
Perhaps ThePhugoid means "horizontal" as in "Space X is vertically integrated and makes everything in house..." (well almost everything).  Vertical integration is used to cut out all of the supplier margins.  Horizontal integration is what ULA does.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: deruch on 01/25/2018 02:41 AM
Horizontal integration is what ULA does.

Not really.  They're not going out and buying up other launch providers.  Horizontal integration would be if ULA bought OrbitalATK so that by bringing Antares and Pegasus into their portfolio (or stopping their offering) they controlled more of the market. 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: vaporcobra on 01/25/2018 03:21 AM
hmmmmmm. We're straying from the topic, but my understanding of a corporation that is not "vertically integrated" is one that instead subcontracts as much work as possible to groups/companies that are totally external. Which is precisely one of the largest differences between SpaceX and ULA (and Vector/Rocket Lab, in this case). Buying (custom or stock) parts from external groups and then integrating them and operating the products that result appears to be Vector's current mode of action.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 01/25/2018 03:23 AM
Perhaps ThePhugoid means "horizontal" as in "Space X is vertically integrated and makes everything in house..." (well almost everything).  Vertical integration is used to cut out all of the supplier margins.  Horizontal integration is what ULA does.

Yep, by a horizontally integrated vehicle I mean:
Tanks from one vendor
Sep systems from another vendor
Pressurization from another vendor
Engines from another vendor

All pieces with their own little mark-up and middlemen.
With some little bits between them all built in-house but not enough to bring costs down.

So by this metric I'm saying Falcon 9 is vertically integrated, while something like Antares is horizontally integrated (Engines - Energia, Stage 1 Core - Yuzhnoye, Castor 30 - OATK, etc.)

If you want to rush a rocket out the door, horizontal integration can do it for you.  But you sure aren't going to save any money.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 01/25/2018 03:28 AM
I don't think that's actually a valid use of the term "horizontal integration".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 01/25/2018 03:33 AM
I don't think that's actually a valid use of the term "horizontal integration".

Alright well if you'd like to pick some more nits with me, you can say that the term applies to the organization that builds the vehicle, or the program that develops it.  Either way the fact remains that relying on suppliers to provide you flight-ready hardware they've developed on their own dime rather than designing, building, and integrating it all yourself will eventually come back to haunt anyone looking to drive launch costs to the floor.  Especially small launch providers.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 01/25/2018 05:25 AM
SpaceX only manufactures inhouse what they can't source for a reasonable price, for quality reasons, lead times.
They still state they have suppliers in all 50 States...
And i'm sure not every part they brought inhouse for manufacture was as cheap or easy as they envisioned.
And the big carbon fiber tank Elon Musk showed at IAC 2016 wasn't manufactured inhouse either.

For me it's only reasonable to source the tanks outside if your factory isn't ready yet.
Autoclavs are not things that move easily, and for sure have long lead times.
I guess once they move into their new favtory, they will manufacture the tanks themselves. I think tanks manufacture takes up a lot of floor space and isn't the biggest hurdle on the way to an orbital launch vehicle.

With their planned cadence, it might still make sense to have an outside supplier later even if manufacturing some of the tanks themselves.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: imprezive on 01/25/2018 08:01 AM
SpaceX only manufactures inhouse what they can't source for a reasonable price, for quality reasons, lead times.
They still state they have suppliers in all 50 States...
And i'm sure not every part they brought inhouse for manufacture was as cheap or easy as they envisioned.
And the big carbon fiber tank Elon Musk showed at IAC 2016 wasn't manufactured inhouse either.

For me it's only reasonable to source the tanks outside if your factory isn't ready yet.
Autoclavs are not things that move easily, and for sure have long lead times.
I guess once they move into their new favtory, they will manufacture the tanks themselves. I think tanks manufacture takes up a lot of floor space and isn't the biggest hurdle on the way to an orbital launch vehicle.

With their planned cadence, it might still make sense to have an outside supplier later even if manufacturing some of the tanks themselves.

SpaceX is almost definitely the most vertically integrated major Aerospace OEM in North America. It’s arguably their biggest competitive advantage because it allows a development speed that just isn’t possible with a web of major suppliers. Obviously they don’t build everything in house as that’s not practical but they come as close as they reasonably can. That being said vertical integration is enormously expensive for a start up, I think Virgin Orbit is the only other rocket company that’s trying it. As a start up having one or two key vendors to partner with to spread risk and gain some investor credibility is a sound strategy IMO.

All that being said Vector posted some pictures of a winding machine so I was under the impression they were making their own tanks.

“Just arrived our new composite winding machine! It will be used to wind carbon fiber fuel tanks and composite nozzles”

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/908741131667570688?ref_src=twcamp%5Eshare%7Ctwsrc%5Em5%7Ctwgr%5Eemail%7Ctwcon%5E7046%7Ctwterm%5E1
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 01/25/2018 08:34 AM
Looks like the label on the tank might say "Scorpius".   Scorpius Space Launch Company sells "All-Composite Cryogenic Pressure Vessels" it says here:  http://www.scorpius.com/

 - Ed Kyle
They also make composite engines at 20klbf and 5klbf, the same as Vector-R first and second stage engines.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 01/25/2018 11:54 AM
The Scorpius engines are quite similar to the Vector engines, just for RP-1 and LOX.
I guess the difference is mainly in the injector, correct?

John Garvey used Scorpius composite cryogenic tanks on the Prospector-9 rocket back in 2008.

http://articles.sae.org/2866/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 01/25/2018 02:19 PM
The second stage tanks with the Scorpius labels are referred to as prototypes, they could still be manufactured in-house later if it makes sense to do so.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: meberbs on 01/25/2018 04:42 PM
I don't think that's actually a valid use of the term "horizontal integration".

Alright well if you'd like to pick some more nits with me, you can say that the term applies to the organization that builds the vehicle, or the program that develops it.  Either way the fact remains that relying on suppliers to provide you flight-ready hardware they've developed on their own dime rather than designing, building, and integrating it all yourself will eventually come back to haunt anyone looking to drive launch costs to the floor.  Especially small launch providers.
That is not so much a nitpick as a clarification to help communication. "Horizontal integration" already has 2 relevant well known meanings (spacecraft to launch vehicle mating method, and "the process of a company increasing production of goods or services at the same part of the supply chain."). Adding a third will only confuse people.  For the future, it will save a lot of confusion if you just say something like "purchasing all major subsystems from various different vendors with little to nothing built in-house" I don't think there is a term for this or a need for one.

Also, I don't think anyone here doubts that this is a bad idea, but it looks like this isn't Vector's long term plan. I do doubt the value of doing a test launch with almost none of your parts being what you intend to actually use though, which seems like what they may be doing.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 01/25/2018 05:38 PM
I do doubt the value of doing a test launch with almost none of your parts being what you intend to actually use though, which seems like what they may be doing.

It's their standard operating procedure so far. Just add hyperbole.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 01/25/2018 05:45 PM
Because nothing screams cost-effectiveness more than racing towards a 2018 orbital launch date with horizontal integration, a non-representative baseline vehicle, and architectural concept drawings of an empty factory.

Your lack of faith is troubling.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Toast on 01/25/2018 06:20 PM
For the future, it will save a lot of confusion if you just say something like "purchasing all major subsystems from various different vendors with little to nothing built in-house" I don't think there is a term for this or a need for one.

The term is "outsourcing".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 01/25/2018 11:04 PM
The term is "outsourcing".

It has to be in-house first before it can be out-sourced. If it never was, then it's just... sourcing.

"Build or buy" is a step in any engineering process. You can screw it up by doing either too much.

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Toast on 01/26/2018 12:10 AM
The term is "outsourcing".
It has to be in-house first before it can be out-sourced. If it never was, then it's just... sourcing.

"Build or buy" is a step in any engineering process. You can screw it up by doing either too much.

Outsourcing is still a perfectly applicable term for something that was never done in house. Either way, that's just semantics, which is a very boring thing to argue about. Call it subcontracting if you'd like. My underlying point was just that it's not an unknown or foreign concept. Otherwise, I agree with you. Everybody has to decide what to do themselves and what to get from others. Maybe Vector is relying too much on external suppliers, but that's not really an unusual situation for a startup of their size.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: JH on 01/26/2018 06:00 AM
For the future, it will save a lot of confusion if you just say something like "purchasing all major subsystems from various different vendors with little to nothing built in-house" I don't think there is a term for this or a need for one.

I've seen this referred to as an organization being a systems integrator rather than a manufacturer.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/03/2018 07:12 PM
Quote
Our @vectorspacesys B0.003 vehicle being readied in our new factory in #Tucson for flight later in March testing multiple subsystems including fairings, avionics, and thrust vector control systems on a suborbital flight.  Stay tuned !

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/959879747084800000
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Craftyatom on 02/04/2018 05:46 PM
Quote
Our @vectorspacesys B0.003 vehicle being readied in our new factory in #Tucson for flight later in March testing multiple subsystems including fairings, avionics, and thrust vector control systems on a suborbital flight.  Stay tuned !
Finally, the TVC we've been waiting for.  No more slanting off the rail!
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 02/05/2018 05:06 PM
Apparently with RL's success, Vector can't "go slow" anymore. They have to field something that resembles an orbital LV. Good.

Oh, and BTW, before SX had Dragon and Merlin's turbopump in house, they contracted out for things. (Prototype of Dragon built entirely by another firm.)

Musk thinks you just get it done somehow first, and then you make decisions as to how you'll do it later. FWIW.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/14/2018 03:16 PM
Quote
Vector Announces Five Orbital Launch Reservation with Open Cosmos
Nanosatellite launch company and space mission provider announce launch agreement

TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware and Open Cosmos, a space mission provider, today announced an agreement to reserve five orbital launches between 2019 and 2023 on the Vector-R launch vehicle. The announcement comes in advance of Vector's first orbital launch in July.

"This agreement with Open Cosmos continues our ongoing efforts to partner with a broad network of customers, and signals the start of a new frontier for Vector as we prepare for our first orbital mission this summer," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "Open Cosmos' mission to provide simple and affordable access to space is one that very closely aligns with Vector's, and we look forward to having them along our journey as we continue breaking down the barriers to access space faced by many."

Based in the United Kingdom, Open Cosmos provides end-to-end mission services enabling its clients to focus on in-orbit data. This one-stop-shop to orbit allows companies to have dedicated nanosatellite missions for remote sensing payloads, IoT/telecommunication services, scientific research, or space technology in-orbit demonstrations. Open Cosmos manufactures its satellites in-house, procures launch services from partners like Vector, and operates qbee fleets using its own satellite operations system while leveraging existing ground segment infrastructure.

"This agreement secures our ability to provide dedicated, affordable launch options to our customers," said Rafel Jorda-Siquier, CEO and founder of Open Cosmos. "Following the qbee nanosatellite deployment in LEO early April 2017, we've been building a strong commercial pipeline of customers looking to get their payload to orbit and start generating revenues fast and under budget. Vector's launch cadence and aggressive prices allows us to provide increased affordable schedule certainty to our time-to-market sensitive customers."

Vector will begin construction on its state-of-the-art rocket factory in Pima County, Ariz. later this year, designed to produce up to 100 launch vehicles per year to start. Throughout 2018, Vector will be testing major elements of its Vector-R launch vehicle leading up to the July orbital launch.

To learn more about the Vector-R launch vehicle, visit https://vector-launch.com/vector-r/

About Vector

Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/

About Open Cosmos

Driven by the vision of making space accessible to anyone, Open Cosmos provides affordable, fast, and simple space missions. We went from design to delivery of QB01, our first nanosatellite, in only four months, followed by a launch and deployment in LEO early April 2017. Open Cosmos is currently developing the next generation of satellites and end-to-end services for commercial and institutional customers to be launched in 2018. For more information visit https://open-cosmos.com/

SOURCE Vector

Related Links

http://www.vectorspacesystems.com

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-announces-five-orbital-launch-reservation-with-open-cosmos-300598391.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/15/2018 02:01 PM
Quote
Cantrell: more people interested in our Vector-H (170 kg to orbit) vs Vector-R (65 kg), so trying to accelerate work on that. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964140504303718400

Quote
Cantrell: we set up in Tucson so I can hire people from Raytheon, which builds missiles there; they know how to build items in large numbers. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964141676989206528

Quote
Cantrell: first flight in third quarter, officially July. Still working on FAA approvals. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964143060916539394

Quote
Cantrell: first launch will be from Kodiak, Alaska. Will have a small test payload on it. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964144017909911553

Quote
Cantrell: breaking ground on new factory in Tucson in July. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964144230443646976

Quote
Cantrell: maybe five percent of the small launch vehicle startups will survive, but there should be plenty of market for them. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964144783622049798

Quote
Cantrell: would be interested in launching from Canada, if there’s access to a launch range and licensing authority. #CDSmallSat18
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/964145620146704384
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/23/2018 02:03 PM
Quote
Tucson Tech: Vector inks deal for five orbital launches

David Wichner Arizona Daily Star Feb 21, 2018 Updated 13 hrs ago

Tucson-based small-satellite launch startup Vector has inked an agreement with a United Kingdom-based company for five orbital launches on its Vector-R rocket between 2019 and 2023.

Vector co-founder and CEO Jim Cantrell said the agreement with Open Cosmos, a space-launch services company, aligns with his company’s aim of providing simple, low-cost launch solutions for small-satellite customers.

http://tucson.com/business/tucson-tech-vector-inks-deal-for-five-orbital-launches/article_37bda926-58d2-573a-85e9-6cb77040b93c.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/08/2018 03:17 PM
Quote
Vector to Conduct Dedicated Launch of Alba Orbital PocketQube Satellites on First Orbital Attempt
In advance of orbital launch, nanosatellite launch company and PocketQube spacecraft manufacturer unite to democratize access to space

News provided by
Vector
11:01 ET

TUCSON, Ariz., March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced it will conduct a dedicated launch of two PocketQube satellites using an Alba Orbital deployer (AlbaPOD) on the Vector-R launch vehicle later this year from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) in Kodiak. Alba Orbital, a manufacturer of PocketQube satellites, will launch the Unicorn-2a satellite platform and a satellite developed by Delft University of Technology, Delfi-PQ1. The launch itself marks a historic moment for both Vector and Alba Orbital as its first orbital launch attempt and the world's first PocketQube dedicated launch.

"Launch continues to be one of the biggest challenges for our customers, and Vector's dedicated launch services provide them the ability to lower both risk and the cost associated with it," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "The PocketQube movement in the satellite industry is a perfect example of how entrepreneurs are coming together to remove as many barriers as possible for those looking to get to space, which aligns perfectly with Vector's mission. We are excited to have Alba Orbital onboard as our first orbital customer and excited to be launching the world's first PocketQube exclusive launch."

Glasgow, Scotland-based Alba Orbital offers low-cost, turnkey access to space through the development of PocketQube satellites. The advanced 3p PocketQube satellite platform, Unicorn-2, will allow payloads with more demanding requirements to fly on a PocketQube for the very first time, helping to save satellite operators more than 50% on hardware and launch. Delfi-PQ1, developed by Delft University of Technology is focused on further proving the capabilities of space technology miniaturization through a standardized core platform and will be deployed by Alba Orbital in their 6p AlbaPod. By providing enabling platforms, parts and technical expertise to global companies, universities and space agencies, Alba Orbital helps to break down barriers faced by space entrepreneurs.

"At Alba Orbital, we aim to provide our customers with the lowest possible turnkey access to space, and offering dedicated, affordable PocketQube satellites is a significant step in the right direction," said Tom Walkinshaw, CEO of Alba Orbital. "Working alongside Vector is a natural fit, providing both organizations the ability to deliver on our customers' needs, and move closer to ubiquitous access to space."

Vector recently submitted its first launch application to the Federal Aviation Administration to enable orbital launching from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska in Kodiak, marking a key milestone toward Vector's goal of establishing multiple launch facilities throughout the United States and beyond. Throughout this year, Vector plans to test major elements of its Vector-R launch vehicle in advance of its orbital launch.

To learn more about the Vector-R launch vehicle, visit https://vector-launch.com/vector-r/
To find out more about Alba Orbital's platforms and services, visit http://www.albaorbital.com/

About Vector
Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/

About Alba Orbital
Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Alba Orbital wants to get more people building and launching their own satellites. We provide a hub of support for the fledgling class of PocketQube satellites by not only building our own platforms but providing parts and technical expertise to companies, universities and space agencies around the world. PocketQubes are 5cm cubed spacecraft, proposed by Prof Bob Twiggs of Morehead State University (formerly Stanford). The first 4 PocketQubes made orbit on the 21st of November 2013. For more information visit http://www.albaorbital.com/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-to-conduct-dedicated-launch-of-alba-orbital-pocketqube-satellites-on-first-orbital-attempt-300610673.html (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-to-conduct-dedicated-launch-of-alba-orbital-pocketqube-satellites-on-first-orbital-attempt-300610673.html)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/08/2018 06:24 PM
Hostage to fortune anyone?  :)

Quote
Vector founder: “100 percent” confident in first orbital launch this year
"Not to pick on them, but we don't work on SpaceX schedules."

by Eric Berger - Mar 8, 2018 4:32pm GMT

The cofounder of the Vector rocket company, James Cantrell, said this week that he is 100 percent confident that his Vector-R vehicle will launch this year. This launch will occur from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, carrying a payload of two PocketQube satellites and an Alba Orbital deployer.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/03/vector-founder-100-percent-confident-in-first-orbital-launch-this-year/

Edit to add: next suborbital test launch planned to be

Quote
... to about 10,000 feet in late March or April in Mojave, California. That will serve to test the vehicle's thrust vector control, the payload fairing, and a new version of the flight computer software among other things, Cantrell said. After that, he believes Vector will be ready to attempt an orbital flight.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 03/08/2018 07:20 PM
Confident that it will "launch". Doesn't even mean it will get close to space; getting 10 feet off the pad will be considered a "launch".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/08/2018 07:33 PM
I've seen this referred to as an organization being a systems integrator rather than a manufacturer.
Also the less kind "Hollowing out" as a business looses any independent ability to do stuff on its own.  :(
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 03/08/2018 09:28 PM
Quote
But first, you have to launch the first one successfully. Doing so this year would send a strong signal to the industry.

Well, that's true.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/09/2018 06:43 AM
Confident that it will "launch". Doesn't even mean it will get close to space; getting 10 feet off the pad will be considered a "launch".
True, and it will supply them with a bunch of data they didn't have before.

It will also be a lot further than some of their competitors will manage.

I've always quite liked the line that "Every failure is a dress rehearsal for success."

The downside is of course if it falls back to the pad and they have to rebuild that as well.  :( Let's see what happens. 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 03/09/2018 06:58 AM
Confident that it will "launch". Doesn't even mean it will get close to space; getting 10 feet off the pad will be considered a "launch".
True, and it will supply them with a bunch of data they didn't have before.

It will also be a lot further than some of their competitors will manage.

I've always quite liked the line that "Every failure is a dress rehearsal for success."

The downside is of course if it falls back to the pad and they have to rebuild that as well.  :( Let's see what happens.
There's not a lot of downside to it falling back on the pad. They are launching from a trailer, and the pad itself is not more than a flat piece of concrete. They already have their second generation for the trailer under construction.
If something fiery happens on the pad, you need a bulldozer to push the burnt junk of the way and you should be good to go with a new trailer. That's an mobile ICBM kind of approach.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 03/10/2018 06:16 AM
Latest picture of their engine (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/972307970506702849)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 03/10/2018 06:57 AM
Flight valves?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/10/2018 11:37 AM
Latest picture of their engine (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/972307970506702849)

How odd.

Apart from the top end I am reminded of the Microcosm 5000 LOX/RP1 pressure fed that was designed to be parallel clustered (IE wide, but short, with progressive outer rings of propellant/engine modules peeling off during ascent).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 03/10/2018 03:05 PM
I came across that old website when looking for that engine: https://gulker.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/industrial-revolution/

Not a lot of information, but an interesting tidbit: the article states costs of 4000$ in 2007 for a Scorpius(Microcosm) rocket engine.

My big question is: those engines have been around for at least a decade, John Garvey flew the first composite LOX tank in 2001 (manufactured also by microcosm).
Why is this all only happening now?

Is it Jim Cantrell bringing venture capital together with John Garvey? Why didn't anything materialise from the Microcosm/Scorpius plans for a smallsat launcher?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/10/2018 08:08 PM
I came across that old website when looking for that engine: https://gulker.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/industrial-revolution/

Not a lot of information, but an interesting tidbit: the article states costs of 4000$ in 2007 for a Scorpius(Microcosm) rocket engine.

My big question is: those engines have been around for at least a decade, John Garvey flew the first composite LOX tank in 2001 (manufactured also by microcosm).
Why is this all only happening now?

Is it Jim Cantrell bringing venture capital together with John Garvey? Why didn't anything materialise from the Microcosm/Scorpius plans for a smallsat launcher?
Who knows? The same question could be asked of the Flometrix pump. Low temp system makes most of the pumps low temp and eliminates complex turbo machinery, leaving a smaller (standard type) high pressure tank.

Sounded like a winner.  Went nowhere.  :(
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/10/2018 11:26 PM
Latest picture of their engine (https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/972307970506702849)

FWIW - some ways of explaining what you might be seeing:

The metal box with the red label in the left lower corner is perhaps one of the gimbal actuators (the other is in the background behind and to the left - it's not locked into place yet), the gimbal's joint/pivot and thrust attachment  (cone) is above it. Below the round object is one of the two "flight valves" (the other is on the other side in the background seen in side relief, above and to the left). The light gray material bolted to the black combustion chamber and nozzle (the part that looks like carbon overwrapped composite) is the injector (possibly a plate injector). The blue item looks like a connector cover. Looks like some bleed lines as well.

Pressure fed engines are very simple - the valves are the moving parts. The clever part can't be seen - how the injector works.

Flight valves?
I know  ::)  I'd read that to mean "parts not likely to change before orbital flight". It would not surprise me if they constantly tweak the injector, or change out the combustion chamber/nozzle.

My big question is: those engines have been around for at least a decade, John Garvey flew the first composite LOX tank in 2001 (manufactured also by microcosm).
Yes.

Quote
Why is this all only happening now?

Is it Jim Cantrell bringing venture capital together with John Garvey? Why didn't anything materialise from the Microcosm/Scorpius plans for a smallsat launcher?
I would time things from the moment Rocket Labs got their Series A.

Last week witnessed a new aerospace venture have a surprise success with investment. Immediately a key engineer wanted to get paid (ahead of all the others who hadn't/wouldn't) with earnest funds and leave. In the 40+ years I'd never seen anything like it before. (The firm adroitly adapted and continues to do well). Many have a "fruit stand" mentality of make it and eat it, hand to mouth.

Not everyone can pitch for significant funds, especially in aerospace, where a lot hang on to tiny funds, hoping to eek out a living from  sparse revenues and speculative projects. If you jump for the big brass ring, you not only may get nothing, you may lose what keeps you alive. GSC was very hand to mouth that I saw.

My read is that a consolidated business impressed, where before it was bits and pieces. It's true that with Vector it reminds me more of when the circus comes to town (or  space port), but it fits with an opportunistic approach to microlaunch.

Which as you see here with Vector, is a lot of "over promise and under deliver". (Like other space ventures, key thing is "do they get enough each time they fail, that they eventually bring it off anyways?") A "big picture" that holds together is potentially finance-able even if the tech (like with Falcon 1) has holes, however, aerospace engineers don't ever care for "big picture" even when they have fixable holes in tech.

My example above was to illustrate that when you do cross the threshold of where significant interest triggers, it's often not considered positive in aerospace engineering as much as you'd expect. Often they don't keep up contacts, don't show for meetings, even go back on plans and burn bridges.

Many would rather work for the larger firm that they left to do a start-up with, or struggle along with SBIR crumbs, thinking small the whole time (most small aerospace firms that make it have NO private investment, bootstrap finance and then lead narrow existences for 10-60 years).

Space start-up culture isn't like Silicon Valley (or LA or NY or ...) where you can through things together on the fly when things get rough. So its also perceived as riskier and more "go it alone". Thus the "showmanship" attributes of a Musk matter a great deal to fill the void - others follow that "inflated" model.

Plain and simple, its nuts.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/11/2018 05:45 AM

FWIW - some ways of explaining what you might be seeing:

The metal box with the red label in the left lower corner is perhaps one of the gimbal actuators (the other is in the background behind and to the left - it's not locked into place yet)

Some slightly better explaining ;o)

It's a load cell. http://www.futek.com/product.aspx?stock=FSH01043

Which given the packaging of the gimbal point, leads to a conclusion about that engine, on that flight.

Right?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/11/2018 07:57 AM
Which as you see here with Vector, is a lot of "over promise and under deliver". (Like other space ventures, key thing is "do they get enough each time they fail, that they eventually bring it off anyways?") A "big picture" that holds together is potentially finance-able even if the tech (like with Falcon 1) has holes, however, aerospace engineers don't ever care for "big picture" even when they have fixable holes in tech.
Which begs the question would people invest in a competent team that under promised and over delivered?
Quote from: Space Ghost
My example above was to illustrate that when you do cross the threshold of where significant interest triggers, it's often not considered positive in aerospace engineering as much as you'd expect. Often they don't keep up contacts, don't show for meetings, even go back on plans and burn bridges.
You mean because they don't really have a "management team" that can do those meetings, which others can actually get on with fullfilling their contracts? It always astounded me seeing reports of some little outfit going back decades and thinking "How can they still be around, and yet not seem to grow?"

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
Many would rather work for the larger firm that they left to do a start-up with, or struggle along with SBIR crumbs, thinking small the whole time (most small aerospace firms that make it have NO private investment, bootstrap finance and then lead narrow existences for 10-60 years).
I'm guessing they do have a fairly solid business plan though.
Quote from: Space Ghost
Space start-up culture isn't like Silicon Valley (or LA or NY or ...) where you can through things together on the fly when things get rough. So its also perceived as riskier and more "go it alone". Thus the "showmanship" attributes of a Musk matter a great deal to fill the void - others follow that "inflated" model.

Plain and simple, its nuts.
I suspect many engineers who start their own business underestimate the level of marketing involved. This is a mistake.  :(
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/11/2018 08:57 AM

Edit to add: next suborbital test launch planned to be

Quote
... to about 10,000 feet in late March or April in Mojave, California. That will serve to test the vehicle's thrust vector control, the payload fairing, and a new version of the flight computer software among other things, Cantrell said. After that, he believes Vector will be ready to attempt an orbital flight.


Can anyone explain to me how this proposed launch is going to be more capable than this one, done by amateurs on a shoestring budget a few years ago, and which seems to have reached more than 8000 meters / 26000 feet altitude?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paY9GZG7QLA
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 03/11/2018 09:44 AM
They conducted their first test flights from hobby rocketry sites, with a FAA waiver because of staying below 10 000 feet.

Seems to be a lot easier, they don't need any range to supervise them...
Of course there's still a long way from below 10 000 feet to orbit...

But they seem to be able to get good data, and, which might be more important, have launches to impress some VC with some launches while the orbital vehicle is not completed yet.

It's a different approach to Rocketlab or other companies, that build "their best orbital vehicle" right away. It worked for Rocketlab, but Vector is trying an incremental approach. That's not inherently wrong IMO.

Jim Cantrell knows how to do the "VC talk" as he has been on both sides several times. I don't think he's as much into the engineering and "inspiring humanity" side as other "New Space" bosses.

If they're successful, i think Vector might be the first candidate for a merger with an "old Space" company and Cantrell might go back to collecting race cars...

Edit:
Found this Spacenews Article (http://spacenews.com/hawthornes-other-rocket-company/) about Microcosm that sheds some light on technologies that Vector will use.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/11/2018 06:24 PM

If they're successful, i think Vector might be the first candidate for a merger with an "old Space" company and Cantrell might go back to collecting race cars...

Edit:
Found this Spacenews Article (http://spacenews.com/hawthornes-other-rocket-company/) about Microcosm that sheds some light on technologies that Vector will use.
Interesting article. I did not know Gwynn Shotwell is Ex-Microcosm.  She's clearly pretty familiar with the application of composites to LOX tank mfg.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 03/11/2018 06:46 PM


Interesting article. I did not Gwynn Shotwell is Ex-Microcosm.  She's clearly pretty familiar with the application of composites to LOX tank mfg.

I went down the internet rabbithole a bit today. Not only Gwynne is ex-Microcosm, Hans Koenigsmann also is.
And there's more between SpaceX and Vector, of course Jim Cantrell is ex-SpaceX (I think he had Gwynne's Job in the early days?), and Elon Musk met Tom Mueller in John Garveys workshop as they were building (hobby) rocket engines together. Jim Cantrell was the one who recommended Mueller to Elon Musk.

Seems like a small community, those rocket people...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/11/2018 07:53 PM
Quote
Our @vectorspacesys next generation Stage 1 main engine putting out nominal 6,000 lbs of thrust and one of three engines powering the first stage.  This new generation engine uses #3dprinted injectors and carbon fiber wound ablative nozzles burning cryogenic liquid propylene/LOX

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/972886015906955264?s=21
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/11/2018 07:57 PM

FWIW - some ways of explaining what you might be seeing:

The metal box with the red label in the left lower corner is perhaps one of the gimbal actuators (the other is in the background behind and to the left - it's not locked into place yet)

Some slightly better explaining ;o)

It's a load cell. http://www.futek.com/product.aspx?stock=FSH01043

Which given the packaging of the gimbal point, leads to a conclusion about that engine, on that flight.

Right?
Yes - serves me right for writing a post looking at a cellphone image. Both are load cells, and the pivot is fixed too.

Which explains the uncontrolled flight path, where the thrust vector must have been slightly off center, not through CG.

(Note that the gimbal pivot isn't a spherical bearing, but with a trunnion.)

Which as you see here with Vector, is a lot of "over promise and under deliver". (Like other space ventures, key thing is "do they get enough each time they fail, that they eventually bring it off anyways?") A "big picture" that holds together is potentially finance-able even if the tech (like with Falcon 1) has holes, however, aerospace engineers don't ever care for "big picture" even when they have fixable holes in tech.
Which begs the question would people invest in a competent team that under promised and over delivered?
That used to be a "kiss of death".

Ironically, it has become a peculiar "advantage" for certain professional investors, who think bravado is a a show of confidence. (They think when it doesn't come off, they can extract a pound of flesh advantage each time, and buy back increasing share of the business, because they have them over a barrel.  ::)  )

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost
My example above was to illustrate that when you do cross the threshold of where significant interest triggers, it's often not considered positive in aerospace engineering as much as you'd expect. Often they don't keep up contacts, don't show for meetings, even go back on plans and burn bridges.
You mean because they don't really have a "management team" that can do those meetings, which others can actually get on with fulfilling their contracts?
No.

They all have/had management teams. In this day and age, people pick and choose casually if they feel they need to be professional/genuine (or for that matter even betray), on a case by case basis. It's another evasion of professionalism that boggles.

Fulfilling contracts doesn't mean success in aerospace, often its just about keeping one's head above water.

Quote
It always astounded me seeing reports of some little outfit going back decades and thinking "How can they still be around, and yet not seem to grow?"
Because they have a niche that they stubbornly cling to.

And there are many stories in aerospace/arsenal where obscure tiny firms become huge too.

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
Many would rather work for the larger firm that they left to do a start-up with, or struggle along with SBIR crumbs, thinking small the whole time (most small aerospace firms that make it have NO private investment, bootstrap finance and then lead narrow existences for 10-60 years).
I'm guessing they do have a fairly solid business plan though.
In the case of Vector more of a "going where others cannot/will not".

And as a result opportunistically always getting the best deal for frequent small launches. Which in this case allows one investor to eat the heart out of an arrogant rival who they think over invested by undercutting them. Just as much spite as "bragging rights".

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost
Space start-up culture isn't like Silicon Valley (or LA or NY or ...) where you can through things together on the fly when things get rough. So its also perceived as riskier and more "go it alone". Thus the "showmanship" attributes of a Musk matter a great deal to fill the void - others follow that "inflated" model.

Plain and simple, its nuts.
I suspect many engineers who start their own business underestimate the level of marketing involved. This is a mistake.  :(
Not just marketing.

It's a mentality. Most aerospace engineers are trained to accept the worst case and to minimize potential success, because they are trying to secure success usually by overthinking things with tremendous special case constraints. That's not how entrepreneurs work.

(BTW, I don't think Musk knew what he was doing until long after Falcon 1 flight 4.)

Seems like a small community, those rocket people...
Absolutely. BTW, Musk has taught Mueller how to be an entrepreneur. That played a significant role in the success of M1D.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/12/2018 08:37 AM
Which begs the question would people invest in a competent team that under promised and over delivered?
That used to be a "kiss of death".

Ironically, it has become a peculiar "advantage" for certain professional investors, who think bravado is a a show of confidence. (They think when it doesn't come off, they can extract a pound of flesh advantage each time, and buy back increasing share of the business, because they have them over a barrel.  ::)  )

Hmmm.  Did not see that one coming.  :(
Just... bizarre.
So as a company making bolder claims is better, even if your claims are pretty bold to begin with?


Quote from: Space Ghost
My example above was to illustrate that when you do cross the threshold of where significant interest triggers, it's often not considered positive in aerospace engineering as much as you'd expect. Often they don't keep up contacts, don't show for meetings, even go back on plans and burn bridges.
You mean because they don't really have a "management team" that can do those meetings, which others can actually get on with fulfilling their contracts?
[/quote]
No.

They all have/had management teams. In this day and age, people pick and choose casually if they feel they need to be professional/genuine (or for that matter even betray), on a case by case basis. It's another evasion of professionalism that boggles.

Fulfilling contracts doesn't mean success in aerospace, often its just about keeping one's head above water.


I'm clearly not cut out for this sort of thing. I'm getting more boggled by the minute.  :(
Quote from: Space Ghost
Because they have a niche that they stubbornly cling to.

And there are many stories in aerospace/arsenal where obscure tiny firms become huge too.
Well that's something to hope for.


Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
In the case of Vector more of a "going where others cannot/will not".

And as a result opportunistically always getting the best deal for frequent small launches. Which in this case allows one investor to eat the heart out of an arrogant rival who they think over invested by undercutting them. Just as much spite as "bragging rights".
Indeed.
In theory "It's just business," but IRL  there's usually a sense of satisfaction involved.
The trouble comes when someone's desire for satisfaction makes them willing to exceed what is good business, and they make poor choices.  :(

Quote from: Space Ghost
Not just marketing.

It's a mentality. Most aerospace engineers are trained to accept the worst case and to minimize potential success, because they are trying to secure success usually by overthinking things with tremendous special case constraints. That's not how entrepreneurs work.
Indeed.

It's taken me a while to stop thinking in terms of "I can get so far in a plan but I can't see past this bit. Not viable. Don't do it" and start thinking in terms of "I get to here, and by then I should have learned enough to work out how to do the rest." Of course that does not always work.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the demise of the thinking behind "X" Planes, where the goal is find out information, not to design the next aircraft, to gain the knowledge to design the next generation of aircraft.  :(
Quote from: Space Ghost
(BTW, I don't think Musk knew what he was doing until long after Falcon 1 flight 4.)
Assuming he had absolute control of the F1 design process some of his choices seemed pretty odd.
Quote from: Space Ghost
Absolutely. BTW, Musk has taught Mueller how to be an entrepreneur. That played a significant role in the success of M1D.
I wonder if SX will turn out to be the equivalent of Fairchild semiconductor and it's spawing of the "Fair children" competitors from former employees?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/12/2018 07:19 PM
Which begs the question would people invest in a competent team that under promised and over delivered?
That used to be a "kiss of death".

Ironically, it has become a peculiar "advantage" for certain professional investors, who think bravado is a a show of confidence. (They think when it doesn't come off, they can extract a pound of flesh advantage each time, and buy back increasing share of the business, because they have them over a barrel.  ::)  )

Hmmm.  Did not see that one coming.  :(
Just... bizarre.
So as a company making bolder claims is better, even if your claims are pretty bold to begin with?
It's why we have had in the past so many investment nightmares.

In essence, since they are in the "highest risk game", they are attracted to the "insane rewards" as well, and get used to thinking that the engineering/tech is like magic that somehow materializes to make it so.

Which is nuts but how things seem to work these days (especially in enterprise software, where I'm seeing things like 100k long database queries for complex metrics for example). Think of valuable high wire acts as a form of value proposition.

Over the top to prevent "topper".

Quote
Quote
Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost
My example above was to illustrate that when you do cross the threshold of where significant interest triggers, it's often not considered positive in aerospace engineering as much as you'd expect. Often they don't keep up contacts, don't show for meetings, even go back on plans and burn bridges.
You mean because they don't really have a "management team" that can do those meetings, which others can actually get on with fulfilling their contracts?
No.

They all have/had management teams. In this day and age, people pick and choose casually if they feel they need to be professional/genuine (or for that matter even betray), on a case by case basis. It's another evasion of professionalism that boggles.

Fulfilling contracts doesn't mean success in aerospace, often its just about keeping one's head above water.

I'm clearly not cut out for this sort of thing. I'm getting more boggled by the minute.  :(
Its how we got Groupon and Uber.

Perhaps because they are used to upping the intensity on the "reality distortion field".

Musk attempts to use it as a super power. (Which also is nuts).

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
In the case of Vector more of a "going where others cannot/will not".

And as a result opportunistically always getting the best deal for frequent small launches. Which in this case allows one investor to eat the heart out of an arrogant rival who they think over invested by undercutting them. Just as much spite as "bragging rights".
Indeed.
In theory "It's just business," but IRL  there's usually a sense of satisfaction involved.
The trouble comes when someone's desire for satisfaction makes them willing to exceed what is good business, and they make poor choices.  :(
Very true.

(And with someone like me, who is used to painfully grounding certain big egos with harsh reality, doesn't always go well either.)

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost
Not just marketing.

It's a mentality. Most aerospace engineers are trained to accept the worst case and to minimize potential success, because they are trying to secure success usually by overthinking things with tremendous special case constraints. That's not how entrepreneurs work.
Indeed.

It's taken me a while to stop thinking in terms of "I can get so far in a plan but I can't see past this bit. Not viable. Don't do it" and start thinking in terms of "I get to here, and by then I should have learned enough to work out how to do the rest." Of course that does not always work.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the demise of the thinking behind "X" Planes, where the goal is find out information, not to design the next aircraft, to gain the knowledge to design the next generation of aircraft.  :(
Not a bad analogy.

It also reminds of working on half working black projects, where you improvise right up to the last minute, and maybe it comes off and maybe it doesn't.

(Which is where one learns how to be brutally concise as to what can/can't be done at times, because you have to address the issue head on.)

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost
(BTW, I don't think Musk knew what he was doing until long after Falcon 1 flight 4.)
Assuming he had absolute control of the F1 design process some of his choices seemed pretty odd.
He didn't let that stop him. "Just do it"?

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost
Absolutely. BTW, Musk has taught Mueller how to be an entrepreneur. That played a significant role in the success of M1D.
I wonder if SX will turn out to be the equivalent of Fairchild semiconductor and it's spawing of the "Fair children" competitors from former employees?
Interesting. (I've worked at Fairchild's AI Lab, and was an advisor to National Semiconductor (Sporck, Lamond, Kvamme) on going up against Intel in processors and memory, so I know those guys quite well - they wanted to sell to aerospace.)

It's true that there was an enormous amount of entrepreneurial energy in both. But Fairchild wasn't as "cultish" and inwardly directed as SX is - much more button down, like Xerox. I'd say that both PARC and parts of Fairchild illustrated potential opportunities, that the larger firm couldn't put into action (sounds like ULA?), so provided the motive/opportunity to link up with outside investment "initiative" to start.

It was a "validator" that if you were from Fairchild, you probably knew what you were talking about and could bring it off.

That part is true for many including SX.

The limitations for Fairchild wasn't vision/ambition, but sales/channels and finance.

Back to topic - best way I think to see Vector/RL is as "sounding rockets and model rocketry on steriods attempt to grow into launch systems".

From a standpoint of traditional aerospace investment and R&D, both are crazy to consider and even crazier to think you can turn into a business.

From a standpoint of paradigm shift venture investment, since it might work, possible, and given extreme operating/fixed cost advantage, might payoff by doing the impossible, so with good chance of bragging rights at owning the impossible, fund-able.

The return/value/ROI is "how impossibly big", later monetized. That's the difference.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/15/2018 06:09 AM
Its how we got Groupon and Uber.

And Theranos.

The thing is, just like Theranos, the facts have a habit of catching up with Chief Executives eventually, when investors and regulators start looking into claims vs. facts:-

http://time.com/5200246/theranos-elizabeth-holmes-fraud-sec-charges/

Stunt blood tests that are designed to dazzle the press and hook investors... The SEC charges will just be the start of the problems for that young lady.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/18/2018 11:17 PM
Quote
Successful test of our Gen II first stage engine for @vectorspacesys Vector-R launch vehicle with 3D printed injector and ablative cooled chamber/nozzle. This engine met performance targets and we will now work to finish qualifying engine for 1st flight

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/975525592740216832
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 03/23/2018 07:42 AM
off topic but vaguely amusing: this photo of Cantrell from his Twitter feed makes him look like an aging lounge singer who is slightly tired and emotional:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DY7orqLVQAAY2bl.jpg:large)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/29/2018 07:39 PM
Quote
Vector’s proposed new launch pad at Pacific Spaceport Complex – Kodiak Alaska. Arguably one of the most amazing views of any pad in the world.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/979431012601094150
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/30/2018 04:50 AM
Quote
Hot off the presses (printer), our new Vector-R first stage engine 3D printed injector...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/979508732471029760
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/30/2018 09:14 AM
Quote
Hot off the presses (printer), our new Vector-R first stage engine 3D printed injector...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/979508732471029760
Looks nice.

Obvious questions. How long to make and how much post processing?
 No real indicator of the injector pattern. That hole at the top could be feeding a network of injection holes.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 03/30/2018 01:05 PM
Quote
Hot off the presses (printer), our new Vector-R first stage engine 3D printed injector...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/979508732471029760
Looks nice.

Obvious questions. How long to make and how much post processing?
 No real indicator of the injector pattern. That hole at the top could be feeding a network of injection holes.

The hole at the top looks like it doesn't have an o-ring sealing surface like the other ports. Spark plug port?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: envy887 on 03/30/2018 02:03 PM
Quote
Hot off the presses (printer), our new Vector-R first stage engine 3D printed injector...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/979508732471029760
Looks nice.

Obvious questions. How long to make and how much post processing?
 No real indicator of the injector pattern. That hole at the top could be feeding a network of injection holes.

The hole at the top looks like it doesn't have an o-ring sealing surface like the other ports. Spark plug port?

Might just be a mounting point for a gimbal bearing.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/31/2018 05:54 AM
That hole at the top could be feeding a network of injection holes.

The fuel and LOX enter separately via the two flanges at the side. You can read FUEL and LOX at the top of the flanges. As suggested by envy887, this is likely the where the gimbal is mounted.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/31/2018 10:49 AM
That hole at the top could be feeding a network of injection holes.

The fuel and LOX enter separately via the two flanges at the side. You can read FUEL and LOX at the top of the flanges. As suggested by envy887, this is likely the where the gimbal is mounted.
Oops. My eyesight....
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Gliderflyer on 04/01/2018 02:26 AM
Quote
Hot off the presses (printer), our new Vector-R first stage engine 3D printed injector...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/979508732471029760
Looks nice.

Obvious questions. How long to make and how much post processing?
 No real indicator of the injector pattern. That hole at the top could be feeding a network of injection holes.

The hole at the top looks like it doesn't have an o-ring sealing surface like the other ports. Spark plug port?

Might just be a mounting point for a gimbal bearing.

Based on the picture of the assembled engine that they posted recently, the gimbal attaches to the 4 threaded holes on top of the injector. The center port is the only one that doesn't have a chamfer for an o-ring, which makes me think it is for the spark plug because they don't use o-rings.
If they do have a centrally located spark torch igniter, this would help narrow down what injector they are using because it would rule out a pintle.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/12/2018 03:19 AM


VECTOR (@vectorspacesys) tweeted at 6:22 AM on Thu, Apr 12, 2018:
Wishing @RocketLab best for 1st commercial launch. Few months back we donated $7k NZD ($5k) & all proceeds of mission patch to @Kiwisforkiwi conservation projects. We are all in those together to further commercial space & small launch vehicles, while having a bit of fun at it https://t.co/kUFVDIavoM
(https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/984134694064209921?s=03)

Nice gesture by Vector. While RL maybe competition they are also helping to cement market that Vector wants to service. "Rising tide floats all ships".

I've no proof but suspect there are few smallsat companies have been waiting for new small LVs to start operating before ramping up their business.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/12/2018 03:27 PM
Quote
Vector Introduces New VP of Manufacturing to Lead Production of Vector-R & H Launch Vehicles

Automotive manufacturing veteran Brian Barron to drive accelerated rate of launch vehicle production never before achieved in traditional aerospace industry



TUCSON, Ariz., April 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a microsatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced plans to reshape the aerospace industry by incorporating best practices from the automotive industry to mass manufacture its Vector-R and Vector-H launch vehicles. Spearheading the revolutionary endeavor will be Brian Barron, Vector's new vice president of manufacturing. Barron brings to Vector more than two decades of global automobile manufacturing experience, most recently at BMW Manufacturing and Lucid Motors, an automotive electric vehicle startup. 

Barron will oversee manufacturing at Vector's upcoming state-of-the-art rocket manufacturing facility in Arizona, where Vector will draw upon the company's widespread passion for automobile racing to revolutionize the mass production of rockets much like the assembly production of Henry Ford's Model T once changed the automotive world. Using automated manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing, on its assembly line, Vector plans to scale full production of the Vector-R up to 100 rockets per year – a rate never before achieved in the traditional aerospace industry.

"Vector was influenced and shaped by the automotive industry, and we continue to see numerous parallels between automobiles and rockets," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "The systems and assembly techniques used to produce high-end, luxury cars is an approach we believe can easily be applied to build Vector's family of launch vehicles. By tapping Brian's expertise in this area, Vector will build rockets analogous with the methods used to mass produce cars, a carbon fiber Model-T as it were, enabling us to deliver on our goal of producing hundreds of launch vehicles per year."

Vector will transform the paradigm of how rockets are mass produced in a low cost and reliable manner, allowing Vector to reduce overall costs for buyers, much like the modern automobile. Leveraging Barron's extensive knowledge from his career in the automotive industry, Vector will establish high-volume aerospace manufacturing operations, including solidifying the manufacturing strategy and direction, selecting the required supply chain to provide high quality components, and recruiting the team to establish and run the manufacturing operations. 

"Applying automotive manufacturing principles to the aerospace world is a vision that I share with Jim, and strongly believe in its ability to enable Vector to push the envelope for the industry," said Brian Barron, vice president of manufacturing at Vector. "I am honored to join the Vector team at such a pivotal stage in the company's growth and look forward to taking part in transforming how Vector will mass produce launch vehicles."

Before Vector, Barron spent nearly 20 years at BMW, where he held a variety of leadership roles and was responsible for thousands of employees, hundreds of workstations, and several assembly lines across the BMW Group. Prior to his latest role at Lucid Motors, Barron was director of operations at NIMR Automotive, a producer of wheeled military vehicles.  In his role at NIMR Automotive in the United Arab Emirates, he was responsible for the entire automotive manufacturing operation for military and security vehicles. Barron is also a veteran of the United States Navy, where he served six years as a sonar technician and mainframe weapons/computer systems technician.

To learn more about the Vector-R launch vehicle, please visit: https://vector-launch.com/vector-r/.

About Vector:
Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit http://www.vector-launch.com

SOURCE Vector
Related Links

https://www.vector-launch.com

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-introduces-new-vp-of-manufacturing-to-lead-production-of-vector-r--h-launch-vehicles-300628639.html
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 04/14/2018 03:06 PM
As of February, Vector was applying for FCC permits to support a suborbital launch in California NET March (0162-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82509&RequestTimeout=1000)) and an orbital launch from Wallops NET June (0164-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82519&RequestTimeout=1000)).  The one for the orbital flight (0164) shows a timeline of flight events.  Maybe the Wallops one is switching to Kodiak?  Or they're different flights?  Vector makes SpaceX look like a bastion of stability.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 04/20/2018 03:20 PM
Removed a couple posts noting Ben Brockert doesn't like Jim Cantrell.  If you really want to see people calling each other names you can look up Mr. Brockert's twitter feed.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/28/2018 05:37 AM
Quote
Come see Vector and our new TEL & The Vector-R launch vehicle at next weeks @CalPolyCubeSat Developers Workshop in San Luis Obispo, CA  #CubeSat

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/989993454368276481
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 04/28/2018 06:42 AM
Vector ceramic engines?

https://techport.nasa.gov/view/94200 (https://techport.nasa.gov/view/94200)

Project Introduction

HRL Laboratories, LLC, with Vector Space Systems (VSS) as subcontractor, has a 24-month effort to develop additive manufacturing technology for reinforced ceramic rocket engine components. The technology will be specifically applied to VSS’ LOX/propylene rocket engines in the 800-lbf thrust class and will result in greater than 10 times cost reduction, greater than 10 times reduction in fabrication time and could increase payload by over 10 percent by allowing the integration of complex features that would not be manufacturable otherwise. By maturing this unique process to 3D-print high-temperature ceramics beyond the tipping point for commercialization, a range of aerospace and other applications could benefit from rapid, low-cost fabrication, including upper stage rocket engine chambers/thrusters for small launch vehicles, in-space thrusters for spacecraft, as well as high-temperature components in turbo-pump and combustion devices for larger launch vehicles.

We have invented inexpensive pre-ceramic resins that can be printed with conventional stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers [Science Vol 351, p.58 2016]. After printing, the polymer parts can be converted to ceramic by firing in inert atmosphere at 1000-degrees C, offering a 10 times faster and 10 times less expensive method to produce ceramic rocket engine components compared to conventional processing out of ceramic matrix composites. By incorporating fiber reinforcement, the ceramic engine can be toughened and strengthened, averting the brittle fracturing commonly associated with ceramics. Compared to refractory metal-based components, the cost savings are even larger.

Our breakthrough in additive manufacturing of polymer-derived ceramics combines the ease, flexibility and low-cost of polymer stereolithography with the high-temperature capabilities of SiC-based ceramics. By avoiding conventional powder-based ceramic processing routes, we will achieve fully dense ceramics with exceptionally high strength. Our most mature 3D-printed silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) ceramic composition exhibits high strength of 300 MPa and survives temperatures of 1700-degrees C for multiple hours. Printed parts can be easily joined in the polymer stage to fabricate ceramic structures that are larger than the build volume of the 3D printer.

Together with VSS, HRL will mature the technology from TRL 4 to TRL 6, and scale up fabrication, culminating in hot fire testing of high-performance 800-lbf thrust class LOX/propylene rocket engines with novel designs enabled by additive manufacturing. 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 04/28/2018 06:47 AM
Jim Cantrell, entrepreneur, and founder of SpaceX*, current CEO of Vector Space Systems will be speaking at the lunch on Sunday, July 1st, 2018 on “Technology Vs Tyranny”. How technology can help regain Liberty, especially related to space exploration.

https://www.lp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-12-09_LNC_Meeting_Convention_Oversight_Committee_Report.pdf (https://www.lp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-12-09_LNC_Meeting_Convention_Oversight_Committee_Report.pdf)

*I love how Jimmy has positioned himself now as a "founder of SpaceX".
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 04/29/2018 02:49 PM
Using ceramics in rocket engine are more difficult than fabricating them.

Gel casting could build ceramic parts of equal or better performance since Shuttle TPS, but ceramics are seldom used for rocket engines up to now.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: rsdavis9 on 04/30/2018 12:20 PM
I thought I read somewhere that russian engines used ceramics in the turbos. Maybe the ORSC type engines.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 04/30/2018 03:19 PM
I thought I read somewhere that russian engines used ceramics in the turbos. Maybe the ORSC type engines.
Ceramic anti-oxidation coating on nickel alloy blades
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/08/2018 02:12 PM
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/video/vector-ceo-we-want-to-mass-produce-rockets/vi-AAwTE2m (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/video/vector-ceo-we-want-to-mass-produce-rockets/vi-AAwTE2m)

Jimmy says they are like the Model T Ford or an airline - while in the same breath he says the rockets are disposable, single use vehicles. Uhhhh..... how is that like either?

It was only a year ago they raised $21m, but I guess the fact that he is doing the financial shows means something.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/11/2018 06:24 PM
Some almost-weekend Googling, found this in a document about Atlas Space Operations:

Launch Range Services
Vector Launch, Inc. – Contract signed ($100k/launch, $2.6 million /yr.)


There was a press release some time ago (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-and-atlas-space-operations-partner-to-introduce-new-satellite-ground-architecture-offering-300356603.html (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-space-systems-and-atlas-space-operations-partner-to-introduce-new-satellite-ground-architecture-offering-300356603.html)), but I don't think these figures were public.

When you think the Vector-R sells at $1.5M, that is a large chunk of the price. They will have to fly a ton of those vehicles to make money. I predict they will move to Vector-H very quickly...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 05/13/2018 08:54 PM
Interesting to see what Vector is patenting - nothing to do with rockets:

https://patents.justia.com/assignee/vector-launch-inc
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2018 05:33 PM
Quote
This is what happens when you hire racers @vectorspacesys ... off-road racing suspensions for rocket transport.  New cradle to send rockets from factory to launch site inside C containers.  Engineering model ready for maiden voyage to Alaska next week for tests

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1002540572719005697
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/03/2018 08:01 AM
Interesting use of VC funds - Vector is sponsoring Jimmy's race car habit:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DchcyvmW0AAtfiU.jpg:large)

I vaguely remember that kind of my-company-sponsors-my-CEO-hobby-thing is a tax nightmare.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Katana on 06/05/2018 08:29 PM
Interesting use of VC funds - Vector is sponsoring Jimmy's race car habit:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DchcyvmW0AAtfiU.jpg:large)

I vaguely remember that kind of my-company-sponsors-my-CEO-hobby-thing is a tax nightmare.
Tax? Getting IRS involved?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: seruriermarshal on 06/06/2018 12:29 AM
 ;D

Vector-R MEU on her way to Kodiak for launch operations dress rehearsal... Stay tuned...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1003776162974142465
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ThePhugoid on 06/06/2018 05:51 AM
;D

Vector-R MEU on her way to Kodiak for launch operations dress rehearsal... Stay tuned...

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1003776162974142465

What a hot mess.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/06/2018 06:42 AM
Quote
New animation showcasing the mobile/rapid launch capabilities of our Vector-R vehicle. Includes launch, stage separation, and example micro satellite deployments

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1004141847197827072
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/11/2018 09:29 PM
We interrupt the hypefest for an important update:

Jim Cantrell @jamesncantrell 17 Nov 2017

First orbital launch mid 2018 !

Jonathan A. Goff @rocketrepreneur 17 Nov 2017

So you're planning on going from a bare factory to a flight vehicle in only ~7mos? Doesn't that seem at least a little optimistic to you?

VECTOR @vectorspacesys 17 Nov 2017

Nope, its only a optimistic for old aerospace -- its all in a days work for new space. "I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm asking you to watch me'" - Vector CEO @jamesncantrell

.
.
[7 months pass]
.
.

Jim Cantrell @jamesncantrell 11 June 2018 [i.e. today, mid 2018...]

Set first orbital launch date to October 2018 but still working FAA license & range schedule for exact days.

Everybody is watching, Jimmy, but you aren't delivering.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/11/2018 09:55 PM
We interrupt the hypefest for an important update:

Jim Cantrell @jamesncantrell 17 Nov 2017

First orbital launch mid 2018 !

Jonathan A. Goff @rocketrepreneur 17 Nov 2017

So you're planning on going from a bare factory to a flight vehicle in only ~7mos? Doesn't that seem at least a little optimistic to you?

VECTOR @vectorspacesys 17 Nov 2017

Nope, its only a optimistic for old aerospace -- its all in a days work for new space. "I'm not asking you to believe me. I'm asking you to watch me'" - Vector CEO @jamesncantrell

.
.
[7 months pass]
.
.

Jim Cantrell @jamesncantrell 11 June 2018 [i.e. today, mid 2018...]

Set first orbital launch date to October 2018 but still working FAA license & range schedule for exact days.

Everybody is watching, Jimmy, but you aren't delivering.


Elon Musk did / does the same thing. Vector reminds me a lot of SpaceX in the early days.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lar on 06/12/2018 04:34 PM
Elon Musk did / does the same thing. Vector reminds me a lot of SpaceX in the early days.

Not exactly the same, though.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 06/12/2018 04:36 PM
Elon Musk did / does the same thing. Vector reminds me a lot of SpaceX in the early days.

Not exactly the same, though.
Remember who was VP of Business Development at that time...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 06/12/2018 04:48 PM
Remember who was VP of Business Development at that time...

Remember how long he held that role before his departing?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 06/12/2018 05:24 PM
4 months.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lar on 06/12/2018 09:47 PM
(mod) let's not speak in riddles, instead of "remember who was".... say who.... not everyone is up on everything.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/13/2018 04:45 PM
In reply to Jim Cantrell's tweet mentioning October launch date:

Quote
We are working as fast as possible to go to orbit; range availability and FAA licensing dictate as much the launch date as the rocket itself being ready (which will be very soon...)

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1006254453278699520
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/01/2018 08:20 PM
Quote
Another @vectorspacesys first stage engine test success last week @ AZ Test Site.  Using @NASA designed/produced 3D printed injectors we are hitting performance targets with unique pressure fed propylene/LOX engines begun under Garvey Spacecraft in 2005
http://www.aerospacemanufacturinganddesign.com/article/vector-space-systems-3d-printed-engine-010417/

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1013494336661721090
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/02/2018 05:45 AM
Quote
Progress continues @vectorspacesys where our 1st & 2nd Stage dev units are being assembled.  You can see our carbon fiber filament wound tanks (developed by Tom DeLay & NASA in 2005) using low cost fab technique differing from conventional autoclave units https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/an-update-on-composite-tanks-for-cryogens

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1013491394416177154
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Yeknom-Ecaps on 07/04/2018 07:39 PM
Are the actual dates of the above tests known? Thanks.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: bad_astra on 07/12/2018 05:07 PM
Are the actual dates of the above tests known? Thanks.
I believe there's a suborbital test out of Kodiak before end of year, but I don't know details.
Been following Vector a bit, but I don't really grok all the negativity to them on here.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 07/13/2018 04:11 AM
Are the actual dates of the above tests known? Thanks.
I believe there's a suborbital test out of Kodiak before end of year, but I don't know details.
Been following Vector a bit, but I don't really grok all the negativity to them on here.

That’s because Vector’s accomplishment-to-hype ratio is quite a bit lower than anyone else in the business. Add missed deadlines to that (orbital test this summer?), and negativity is a natural result.

Once they actually fly real hardware, they will see a more positive response.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: as58 on 07/13/2018 07:56 AM

That’s because Vector’s accomplishment-to-hype ratio is quite a bit lower than anyone else in the business. Add missed deadlines to that (orbital test this summer?), and negativity is a natural result.

Quite a bit lower than anyone else? I would say that there are others (Interorbital for one) that are just as bad...
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/13/2018 05:30 PM
Quote
More progress as our @vectorspacesys second stage of the Vector-R launch vehicle comes together.  Wiring and components being installed on interstage structures. The Vector-R traces heritage & design back to the Garvey Nanosat Launch Vehicle (NLV) which Vector acquired in 2016

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1017597510431281152
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/30/2018 06:50 PM
Quote
Probably the last time that a @vectorspacesys Block 1 vehicle (orbital/carbon fiber) shares an assembly line with an original Block 0 vehicle (Suborbital/Alum). Together here is the last Block 0.003 to fly in a month (without skins) & first Block 1 1001 vehicle for Oct launch.

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1024002808771534849
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 09/07/2018 02:50 AM
1559-EX-ST-2018
Quote
Vector has completed an analysis of the nominal trajectory for a two-stage flight of the Vector-R. The
timeline of mission events (Max Q, MECO, Stage Sep, etc..) is listed in the attached REF3. Max Q will
occur roughly 41 seconds after launch, where MECO will occur roughly 2 minutes and 7 seconds into
the launch. Stage separation will occur roughly 5 seconds after MECO. Maximum downrange distance
where communication is required is 316 km. The maximum vehicle altitude will be 64 km, and the
maximum slant range (crossrange) will be 242 km from the ground station to the vehicle.

Under nominal flight conditions, after Stage 1 burnout and separation, Stage 2 is expected to tumble
and break up with an instantaneous impact point similar to that of Stage 1. These points will be off
the coast of Kodiak Island, approximately 316 km downrange into the Pacific Ocean; located at 54° 9'
8.28''N, 149° 50' 14.64'' W.

This application will cover a single flight of the Vector-R B0.101 launch vehicle. This launch will
demonstrate launch capability for the Vector-R B1 and B2 series. Separate STA applications will be
submitted for the follow-on Vector-R series.

This application is for a single flight (estimated 3 hours of frequency usage) of the Vector launch
vehicle. The launch vehicle maximum flight duration will be less than 10 minutes. Pre-flight transmitter
operation is expected to be less than 90 minutes. The maximum operating time is expected to be less
than 3 hours from the commencement of launch activities. This is an absolute worst-case estimate as
operating longer than 30 to 60 minutes may require shut down of the transmitters due to thermal
concerns.

The proposed launch site is Launch Pad C at Pacific Spaceport Complex - Alaska, located on Kodiak
Island, Alaska at 57°25’50.57141” N, 152°21’10.93786” W. For this application we would like to submit
approval for the following range of dates; October 8th, 2018 to April 1st, 2019. However, the planned
launch date for Vector-R B0.101 is targeted for October 31st, 2018
from Kodiak Island, AK (PSCA)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 09/07/2018 03:17 AM
1559-EX-ST-2018
Quote
Vector has completed an analysis of the nominal trajectory for a two-stage flight of the Vector-R. The
timeline of mission events (Max Q, MECO, Stage Sep, etc..) is listed in the attached REF3. Max Q will
occur roughly 41 seconds after launch, where MECO will occur roughly 2 minutes and 7 seconds into
the launch. Stage separation will occur roughly 5 seconds after MECO. Maximum downrange distance
where communication is required is 316 km. The maximum vehicle altitude will be 64 km, and the
maximum slant range (crossrange) will be 242 km from the ground station to the vehicle.

Under nominal flight conditions, after Stage 1 burnout and separation, Stage 2 is expected to tumble
and break up with an instantaneous impact point similar to that of Stage 1. These points will be off
the coast of Kodiak Island, approximately 316 km downrange into the Pacific Ocean; located at 54° 9'
8.28''N, 149° 50' 14.64'' W.

This application will cover a single flight of the Vector-R B0.101 launch vehicle. This launch will
demonstrate launch capability for the Vector-R B1 and B2 series. Separate STA applications will be
submitted for the follow-on Vector-R series.

This application is for a single flight (estimated 3 hours of frequency usage) of the Vector launch
vehicle. The launch vehicle maximum flight duration will be less than 10 minutes. Pre-flight transmitter
operation is expected to be less than 90 minutes. The maximum operating time is expected to be less
than 3 hours from the commencement of launch activities. This is an absolute worst-case estimate as
operating longer than 30 to 60 minutes may require shut down of the transmitters due to thermal
concerns.

The proposed launch site is Launch Pad C at Pacific Spaceport Complex - Alaska, located on Kodiak
Island, Alaska at 57°25’50.57141” N, 152°21’10.93786” W. For this application we would like to submit
approval for the following range of dates; October 8th, 2018 to April 1st, 2019. However, the planned
launch date for Vector-R B0.101 is targeted for October 31st, 2018
from Kodiak Island, AK (PSCA)
0.101 would indicate that it isn't aimed at orbit, no?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 09/07/2018 03:25 AM
This should be the last (intentionally) suborbital flight (the last Block 0).
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Kryten on 09/07/2018 08:28 AM
 From redesign of their website and the STA above, Vector now seem to be using 'Vector Launch Inc.' exclusively rather than Vector Space Systems. The thread should probably be renamed.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/07/2018 08:58 AM
What happened to B0.003? Has this flight been cancelled?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ethan829 on 09/07/2018 01:51 PM
What happened to B0.003? Has this flight been cancelled?

It should be happening sometime this month:

Quote
Our mobile launch pad @vectorspacesys (also known as TEL) being readied for a September Block 0 test launch and then shipment to Alaska for our Block 1 launch in October.  Stay tuned (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1037731931767496704)

Quote
Our next @vectorspacesys Block 0 Vector-R undergoing testing on the mobile launch platform.  Getting real !  The next gen Block 1 orbital vehicle will launch from this same platform in Alaska later this year (https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1037886617413869569)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/07/2018 03:12 PM
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1027270198339018754

Interestingly they moved the prop tanks aft


https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1032249180763254784
Looks like they got the skin panels on the rocket
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 09/07/2018 03:38 PM
What happened to B0.003? Has this flight been cancelled?

I think this is the B0.003 flight.  Maybe the paperwork has the model number instead of serial number?  This permit is for a suborbital Block 0 flight.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: seruriermarshal on 09/18/2018 03:33 AM
First, 1st stage engine test at our new engine test facility in Arizona.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1041789850108735488
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Mardlamock on 09/18/2018 11:43 PM
First, 1st stage engine test at our new engine test facility in Arizona.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1041789850108735488

I wonder what's the longest burn time they've achieved...

What a frakking joke
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 09/19/2018 05:29 AM
First, 1st stage engine test at our new engine test facility in Arizona.

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1041789850108735488

Ocotober 2018, just a few days away.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ethan829 on 09/19/2018 06:42 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1042482999097548801 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1042482999097548801)
Quote
Greg Orndorff, Vector: planning a suborbital test flight of our Block 0 test vehicle this Friday in Mojave. Then start orbital launches from Kodiak, Alaska; awaiting FAA license. #AIAASpace
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: deptrai on 09/19/2018 09:44 PM
Greg also showed us a price list today.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 09/20/2018 10:53 AM
Well, well, well, look at who is very, very quietly, (with zero PR - extremely unusual for Vector) raising more money with convertible loan notes:-

https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/vector-space-convertible-note--dc3e2c64

What's very interesting is the date: March 2018.  Why would they need more money that soon after they closed a $21m round in June 2017?

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/20/2018 12:10 PM
Greg also showed us a price list today.

Thanks. I've rotated, enhanced and enlarged the image.

Vehicle    Vector-R  Vector-H
Price        $1.5M    $4.5M
500 km SSO   33 kg    203 kg
500 km 38°   53 kg    260 kg
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/21/2018 09:13 PM
What happened to B0.003? Has this flight been cancelled?

I think this is the B0.003 flight.  Maybe the paperwork has the model number instead of serial number?  This permit is for a suborbital Block 0 flight.
B0.003 is launching from FAR the launch afterwards is from LP3 Pad-C at PSC-A.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/23/2018 08:39 AM
Quote
Second orbital vehicle B1002 coming together @vectorspacesys Tucson facility for launch early 2019

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1043199849389117440

Quote
We actually didn't have any launches scheduled for this week.  We have a Block 0 vehicle that is going to fly in the next week or two and a Block 1 vehicle flying out of Kodiak Alaska later this year.

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1043292656967639040
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/25/2018 01:46 PM
Interesting to see what Vector is patenting - nothing to do with rockets:

https://patents.justia.com/assignee/vector-launch-inc

I'm no rocket scientist but I think this one awarded 2 weeks ago has some relevance :)

Quote
Enhanced liquid oxygen-propylene rocket engine
Patent number:
10072612
Abstract: Provided herein are various improvements to rocket engine components and rocket engine operational techniques. In one example, a rocket engine propellant injection apparatus is provided that includes a manifold formed into a single body by an additive manufacturing process and comprising a fuel cavity and an oxidizer cavity. The manifold also includes one or more propellant feed stubs, the one or more propellant feed stubs protruding from the manifold and formed into the single body of the manifold by the additive manufacturing process, with at least a first stub configured to carry fuel to the fuel cavity and at least a second stub configured to carry oxidizer to the oxidizer cavity. The manifold also includes a plurality of injection features formed by apertures in a face of the manifold, ones of the plurality of injection features configured to inject the fuel and the oxidizer for combustion.
Type: Grant
Filed: October 4, 2016
Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
Assignee: Vector Launch Inc.
Inventors: Christopher Bostwick, John Garvey, Christopher Anderson, Eric Besnard

Quote
After a decade of testing, propylene rocket fuel may be ready for prime time
Vector has received a patent for its liquid oxygen-propylene rocket engine.

Eric Berger - 9/25/2018, 2:21 PM

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/after-a-decade-of-testing-propylene-rocket-fuel-may-be-ready-for-prime-time/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 09/30/2018 04:45 PM
Interesting: Jimmy is positioning Firefly as a "foreign" competitor:-

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1044608042296176640

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Asteroza on 10/01/2018 01:23 AM
Interesting: Jimmy is positioning Firefly as a "foreign" competitor:-

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1044608042296176640

Not unless they are squeaky clean ITAR-free they ain't.

Right now in the smallsat launcher race, it looks like ITAR-free means chinese, japanese, and maybe something european. With the whole chinese one belt road initiatives and various pushes into africa, one should expect more african launches on chinese launchers once they have a bit of a track record. I'm honestly somewhat surprised there hasn't been some news about chinese startups renting Alcantara.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/02/2018 04:47 PM
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1047160700651462657
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/05/2018 10:09 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1048320497220341760

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1048321632874315776
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/06/2018 06:30 PM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1048436323105689600

https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1048622250314874880
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 10/13/2018 03:17 PM
The "foreign competitor" just picked up an MOU with a pre-announced Vector customer:-

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/york-space-systems-enters-memorandum-of-understanding-with-firefly-aerospace-300728286.html

That's the second early Vector announced customer to look elsewhere - Iceye did a call for information for other launchers a couple of months ago.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ethan829 on 10/19/2018 01:21 PM
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-secures-additional-70m-in-series-b-financing-led-by-kodem-growth-partners-300734109.html (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vector-secures-additional-70m-in-series-b-financing-led-by-kodem-growth-partners-300734109.html)

Quote
Vector Secures Additional $70M in Series B Financing Led by Kodem Growth Partners

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector, a leading microsatellite launch company comprised of New Space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced that it has secured $70M in a Series B funding round led by Kodem Growth Partners, in conjunction with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures also participated in the round. This latest investment follows a surge in enthusiasm around Vector's unique approach to the space industry and will help further Vector's vision to fundamentally change the way space is accessed.

"Vector is entering an extremely important phase of our journey, transitioning from a focus on research and development to flight operations and profitability. This Series B financing is a critical element in Vector's mission to improve access to space and become a dominant launch provider to the small satellite industry," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "We appreciate the confidence that our existing Series A investors have shown in their support for Vector, including Sequoia, Lightspeed and Shasta Ventures. We're excited to welcome our new investors, Kodem Growth Partners, who bring deep industry expertise, tremendous financial backing and exposure to the capital markets consistent with our goal to make an initial public offering of Vector."

"Vector's solution for routine and affordable access to space is what motivated Sequoia to partner with Vector in their Series A," said Bill Coughran, Partner at Sequoia. "Since then, Vector has grown rapidly and we look forward to continuing the journey with this tenacious team."

"Low earth orbit satellite launches are projected to grow nearly four times in the next four years, but no dedicated launch platform exists with robust capability to get small satellites into space," said Alex Taussig, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. "We believe in Vector's ability to capitalize on the tremendous customer interest through its launch services, which is why we've increased our investment in this round."

Capitalizing on the booming small satellite launch market, the Series B round saw investment from new investors, Kodem Growth Partners, who will help Vector achieve its ultimate goal of positioning the company for an eventual initial public offering. As part of the Series B financing round, Vector welcomes Philip Friedman, Operating Partner at Kodem Growth Partners, to its board of directors. Vector's current board includes Bill Coughran from Sequoia, James Palmer formerly of Northrop Grumman Corporation, as well as Jim Cantrell, John Garvey and Shaun Coleman from Vector.

"We view Vector as a true platform investment in a segment of the aerospace market that is undergoing rapid transformation driven by innovative private sector companies," said Philip Friedman, Operating Partner at Kodem Growth Partners. "It's an honor to join the board of directors and support the Vector team through this exciting time. Vector will be a leader in the launch and software defined satellite categories, which offers a tremendous opportunity for value creation."

In addition to raising its Series B funding, Vector has achieved several notable milestones since its Series A round including:

* Achieving many technical milestones and proving the ability to launch anywhere, anytime with the first launch of a rocket from Camden, Ga., and concept of operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

* Attracting key talent including Vice President of Manufacturing Brian Barron, who is leading efforts to industrialize the production of launch vehicles and factory operations.

* Expanding sales to Japan and other Asia markets, and securing several key customer wins and launch agreements.

* Executing strategic partnership with industry leader Citrix Systems.

* Expanding its footprint with new Silicon Valley headquarters to facilitate growth in sales and marketing, and also opening Vector's software defined satellite division, GalacticSky.

* Receiving 12 issued U.S. patents for Vector software defined satellite technology and critical launch vehicle components.

Over the next few months, Vector will expand its sales and marketing teams, effectively doubling its footprint in Silicon Valley. In addition, as the company enters into the production phase of its launch vehicles, Vector expects to break ground on its state-of-the-art factory in Tucson, AZ. This financing round also marks a critical milestone on Vector's journey towards its first orbital attempt, which will take place from the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Davidthefat on 10/19/2018 01:42 PM
$70 million on a B round? Holy... That $5 million shy of what Rocket Lab got for the D round...

Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/19/2018 07:11 PM
Quote
Morgan Stanley joins venture firms betting space start-up Vector can launch a lot of small rockets
Michael Sheetz   | @thesheetztweetz
Published 5 Hours Ago

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/19/morgan-stanley-is-betting-vector-can-launch-a-lot-of-small-rockets.html

Includes further investor quote on what attracted them:

Quote
"What drew us to Vector was the vision Jim Cantrell and John Garvey painted for us about how space communications and the satellite industry were fundamentally changing," Lightspeed partner Alex Taussig told CNBC. "They convinced us that there was this bottleneck, and if you solve the bottleneck then you will multiply the addressable market significantly."
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: JH on 10/20/2018 06:29 PM
Anyone seen an updated valuation?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 10/20/2018 11:27 PM
Includes further investor quote on what attracted them:

Quote
"What drew us to Vector was the vision Jim Cantrell and John Garvey painted for us about how space communications and the satellite industry were fundamentally changing," Lightspeed partner Alex Taussig told CNBC. "They convinced us that there was this bottleneck, and if you solve the bottleneck then you will multiply the addressable market significantly."

Yes, but the odds that Vector will be able to do that seems dubious. But I guess Cantrell is a good salesperson to those not familiar with Vectors accomplishments so far.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/22/2018 07:56 PM
I’m not familiar with this type of agreement but I guess no (or minimal) exchange of funds is involved as none is mentioned?

Quote
Vector Signs Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with U.S. Air Force
October 22, 2018 by Kim Jennett

Latest agreement builds on Vector’s heritage of working with U.S. Department of Defense agencies

TUCSON, Ariz., October 23, 2018 – Vector today announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the United States Air Force Space Command and Missile Systems Center’s Space Superiority Directorate. In addition to its nearly three-year partnership with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the CRADA with the Air Force highlights Vector’s continued efforts to develop critical technologies with the U.S Department of Defense.

Located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo Calif., the Space Missile Systems Center will engage in collaborative research and development activities relating to Vector’s launch services and the Air Force’s technology and mission needs. The CRADA is effective for one year and includes provisions for protecting information by both the Air Force and Vector.

Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), a subordinate unit of Air Force Space Command, is the center of technical excellence for developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining military space systems. SMC’s mission is to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities. The center is responsible for on-orbit check-out, testing, sustainment and maintenance of military satellite constellations and other Department of Defense space systems.

# # # # # #

https://www.vector-launch.com/vector-signs-cooperative-research-and-development-agreement-with-u-s-air-force/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/24/2018 06:32 AM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1054912147132534784
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: xyv on 10/25/2018 01:02 AM
So what...maybe a 9 second test and they're going to be orbital before the end of the year?  While not plywood aerospike funny, this is pretty amusing to watch.  Now to be fueled with even more VC dollars.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: RDMM2081 on 10/25/2018 05:23 PM
There was an interesting reply tweet from them in that thread:

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1054920124858159104
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/30/2018 08:21 PM
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1057342891373121536
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 10/30/2018 11:00 PM
The support systems are already looking bigger. Soon it won't be that mobile.

EDIT: Attached the image from Jim Cantrell's tweet in the post above that I was responding to:
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/01/2018 02:11 PM
The support systems are already looking bigger. Soon it won't be that mobile.

It's easy and appealing to say "sparse launch infrastructure", but it's hard to do.  Rockets are so performance sensitive that if any concern can be addresses by more on-ground stuff, that's always preferable to adding to the rocket.  The result is a sizeable ground infrastructure despite the best of intentions.

If I recall correctly, SpaceX originally wanted a launch to be performed by 9 guys in a trailer.  Now they have lots of pad infrastructure and a more-or-less conventional control center.   Likewise RocketLab has both significant ground launch and control infrastructure.  It's hard to imagine vector getting away with too much less. than this, from Electron's launch. (https://www.kiwispace.org.nz/display/FEAT/FEATURED+-+Rocket+Lab+Launch+2)
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/02/2018 06:22 AM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1058143253109792769

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1058167377081196544
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2018 05:38 AM
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1058535966254616576
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2018 05:46 AM
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1058532819687731200
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/07/2018 02:30 PM
https://twitter.com/jamesncantrell/status/1060191913196875776
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 11/09/2018 05:36 AM
A popular mechanics story on Vector...

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a24841471/vector-satellite-startup-jim-cantrell/

Quote
Jim Cantrell, a quiet force behind the new U.S. space industry, is on the verge of an orbital launch with his small satellite launch company, Vector. Here he delves into the past and future of the space industry, as only a veteran who has Forest Gump-ed his way through aerospace history can do.

On the verge of an orbital launch? I'd like to believe so, but their progress seem to suggest otherwise.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 11/11/2018 09:51 PM
On the verge of an orbital launch? I'd like to believe so, but their progress seem to suggest otherwise.

Well, I'd give them some marks for aiming high.  After all, they wouldn't be the only ones out there subscribing to the spin that "sub-orbital" is simply sub-optimal "orbital".. and oh-so-close, maybe-next-time.   ;D
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: Lars-J on 11/11/2018 10:13 PM
On the verge of an orbital launch? I'd like to believe so, but their progress seem to suggest otherwise.

Well, I'd give them some marks for aiming high.  After all, they wouldn't be the only ones out there subscribing to the spin that "sub-orbital" is simply sub-optimal "orbital".. and oh-so-close, maybe-next-time.   ;D

Oh they would get plenty more credibility if they were suborbital (as in space but suborbital) - what is their current max altitude? A few km?
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: CameronD on 11/11/2018 10:23 PM
On the verge of an orbital launch? I'd like to believe so, but their progress seem to suggest otherwise.

Well, I'd give them some marks for aiming high.  After all, they wouldn't be the only ones out there subscribing to the spin that "sub-orbital" is simply sub-optimal "orbital".. and oh-so-close, maybe-next-time.   ;D

Oh they would get plenty more credibility if they were suborbital (as in space but suborbital) - what is their current max altitude? A few km?

Sub-optimal sub-orbital then.  Any lower and they wouldn't leave the launch tower.  ;)

I'll have to remember that one next time I get in a commercial airliner.


 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ZachF on 11/14/2018 07:30 PM
On the verge of an orbital launch? I'd like to believe so, but their progress seem to suggest otherwise.

Well, I'd give them some marks for aiming high.  After all, they wouldn't be the only ones out there subscribing to the spin that "sub-orbital" is simply sub-optimal "orbital".. and oh-so-close, maybe-next-time.   ;D

Oh they would get plenty more credibility if they were suborbital (as in space but suborbital) - what is their current max altitude? A few km?

Sub-optimal sub-orbital then.  Any lower and they wouldn't leave the launch tower.  ;)

I'll have to remember that one next time I get in a commercial airliner.

subantepenultimorbital 
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/17/2018 07:42 AM
https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/1063665000365977600
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 11/18/2018 08:20 PM
Blowdown pressure fed. You can see the pressure falling off. Looks good.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: gongora on 12/06/2018 12:04 AM
2036-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=88799&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
The proposed launch site will be Randsburg, CA at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) launch complex, which is located at 35.348°N, -117.810°W, and is situated at an altitude of 1050 m. The B0.003 launch vehicle will not exceed 10000 ft (3048 m) above the launch site and will not travel further than 5km away from the launch site.

For this application we would like to submit approval for the following range of dates; December 17th, 2018 to June 1st, 2019. However, the planned launch date for Vector-R B0.003 is targeted for midJanuary 2019 from Randsburg, CA.
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: ringsider on 12/07/2018 07:38 PM
2036-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=88799&RequestTimeout=1000)
The proposed launch site will be Randsburg, CA at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) launch complex, which is located at 35.348°N, -117.810°W, and is situated at an altitude of 1050 m. The B0.003 launch vehicle will not exceed 10000 ft (3048 m) above the launch site and will not travel further than 5km away from the launch site.

Is it factual to call it a "launch vehicle" if it doesn't go above 3km? What are they launching?

And without being overly negative, it;s fair to compare this to amateurs like Copenhagen Suborbitals who go to 10km-12km on a shoestring, without burning tens of millions of dollars:-

https://copenhagensuborbitals.com/the-full-story-of-the-nexo-ii-mission-august-2018/
Title: Re: Vector Space Systems
Post by: QuantumG on 12/08/2018 11:29 PM
Is it factual to call it a "launch vehicle" if it doesn't go above 3km? What are they launching?

There's no minimum altitude in the legal definition.

Quote from: ringsider
And without being overly negative, it;s fair to compare this to amateurs like Copenhagen Suborbitals who go to 10km-12km on a shoestring, without burning tens of millions of dollars

Sure.