Author Topic: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher  (Read 476139 times)

Online RonM

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1400 on: 06/25/2018 05:46 PM »
Like Ed said:  "Design, R&D, final assembly, test, and launch is still in New Zealand."  Auckland and Mahia respectively.
Much like Antares, which is largely manufactured in Russia/Ukraine, but sees final assembly in Virginia.  If Antares is a "U.S." launch vehicle, isn't Electron a "New Zealand" rocket still? 

 - Ed Kyle

My Toyota Camry was assembled in Kentucky. Is it an American car? Most people would say it's Japanese because it was designed and developed in Japan by a Japanese company.

Antares is an American launch vehicle even though many components are built overseas. Orion is an American spacecraft even though the service module is built in Europe.

Electron is an odd case, being developed in New Zealand by an American-based company. It's really a joint American-New Zealand project. Since it's being operated in New Zealand by an American company, it's going to be regulated by both countries.

So, why is this question so important? Shouldn't we be discussing the rocket instead of trivia?

Online Chris Bergin

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1401 on: 06/25/2018 09:23 PM »
It's in this section because that's what we decided. End of conversation. :)

Offline CameronD

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1402 on: 06/25/2018 11:49 PM »
Electron is an odd case, being developed in New Zealand by an American-based company. It's really a joint American-New Zealand project. Since it's being operated in New Zealand by an American company, it's going to be regulated by both countries.

So, why is this question so important? Shouldn't we be discussing the rocket instead of trivia?

Just to clear up any misconceptions:

Electron is an odd case, because it was developed in New Zealand by a New Zealand company using American assistance.  Peter Beck and his team had Electron designed and at least one prototype built long before the American-based company called "Rocketlab USA" existed.  For technology support, regulatory and a few other reasons the New Zealand company is now American-based.  That's what makes it "really a joint American-New Zealand project."

Why is this question so important?  Because it indicates to those of us outside of the continental United States that it IS indeed possible to develop a sucessful indigenous launch capability within a rapidly-developing regulatory minefield whilst highlighting both (a) the size and location of a few of the mines and (b) the path they used to navigate around them.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2018 11:55 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1403 on: 07/11/2018 02:27 AM »
Yay!

Rocket Lab ✔ @RocketLab
We're thrilled to confirm we're building a US launch site for Electron. Four space ports are shortlisted: Cape Canaveral, Wallops Flight Facility, Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base. Confirmed site to be announced in August. http://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-to-expand-launch-capability-with-us-launch-site/
4:53 PM - Jul 10, 2018

https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1016787505436188672?s=19
DM

Online ZachS09

Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1404 on: 07/11/2018 01:29 PM »
My best guess is that in August, Rocket Lab will choose to launch from Cape Canaveral.

Not sure which area on the Cape they'll use for LC-2.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

Offline Toner Soprano

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1405 on: 08/05/2018 05:57 PM »
Peter Beck had another interview on TMRO space.  Link to video: 


Offline edkyle99

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1406 on: 08/05/2018 06:28 PM »
My best guess is that in August, Rocket Lab will choose to launch from Cape Canaveral.

Not sure which area on the Cape they'll use for LC-2.
Cape Canaveral already has an "LC 2".
http://www.robsv.com/cape/c1.html

 - Ed Kyle

Online Comga

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1407 on: 08/06/2018 12:46 AM »
Peter Beck had another interview on TMRO space.  Link to video: 


What I was most hoping to hear was a timeframe for the next launch.
Beck’s reticence to give one was only surpassed only by his smiling refusal to disclose Curie’s mystery green propellant.
We will just have to “stay tuned.”
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1408 on: 08/15/2018 07:39 AM »
Quote
Yet another set of engines roll off the production line, looks like the team might beat our 100 engine target for this year.

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1029617348234293254

Offline CameronD

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1409 on: 08/16/2018 01:08 AM »
Quote
Yet another set of engines roll off the production line, looks like the team might beat our 100 engine target for this year.

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1029617348234293254

Now all they have to do is launch them..

The way they've hung the flag from the roof looks exactly the same as the one at SpaceX.  Is this just something you guys just do in factories over there to remind you which country you're in - or should we read more into it?
« Last Edit: 08/16/2018 01:10 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1410 on: 08/16/2018 02:17 AM »
The way they've hung the flag from the roof looks exactly the same as the one at SpaceX.  Is this just something you guys just do in factories over there to remind you which country you're in - or should we read more into it?
No accident that the flag is in the frame.  Clearly, Rocket Lab is reminding that it is a "U.S." company.  The reasons should be obvious to anyone who follows this business.

Displayed flags are common among the players.
https://hiveminer.com/Tags/icps%2Cula
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/atlas-v-arrives-at-spaceflight-operations-center
https://www.satellitetoday.com/government-military/2016/06/23/us-navy-lockheed-martin-ready-launch-muos-5-satellite/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/33309742286
They're at the factories.  They're at the launch sites.  They're on the rockets.  They're on the flight suits. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/16/2018 02:29 AM by edkyle99 »

Online envy887

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1411 on: 08/16/2018 02:56 AM »
The way they've hung the flag from the roof looks exactly the same as the one at SpaceX.  Is this just something you guys just do in factories over there to remind you which country you're in - or should we read more into it?
No accident that the flag is in the frame.  Clearly, Rocket Lab is reminding that it is a "U.S." company.  The reasons should be obvious to anyone who follows this business.

Displayed flags are common among the players.
https://hiveminer.com/Tags/icps%2Cula
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/atlas-v-arrives-at-spaceflight-operations-center
https://www.satellitetoday.com/government-military/2016/06/23/us-navy-lockheed-martin-ready-launch-muos-5-satellite/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/33309742286
They're at the factories.  They're at the launch sites.  They're on the rockets.  They're on the flight suits. 

 - Ed Kyle

Not just common, but ubiquitous. Every US rocket factory has them...

Virgin Orbit:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DXUScfcVQAA9m26.jpg

Blue Origin:
https://img.purch.com/w/660/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA1My85OTMvb3JpZ2luYWwvYmx1ZS1vcmlnaW4uanBn

Orbital ATK/NGIS:
https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/hires/2014/antarescomme.jpg

ULA:
http://www.madeinalabama.com/assets/2014/07/Decatur_AtlasV-1200x1553.jpg

SpaceX:
https://media.glassdoor.com/l/61/41/44/79/production-floor.jpg

Virgin Galactic:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/technology/2017/06/01/New_VirginGalactic_0055-R_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqfJ6CG4nrs1Imk5-mMOX8ln6N3udfTYjqxsq-qyc4k7U.jpg?imwidth=450

Offline Michael Bloxham

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1412 on: 09/20/2018 07:29 AM »
Hey guys. When I was looking at the limitations of SpaceX launch sites on another thread, the thought occurred to me: Could SpaceX one day fly out from Mahia, NZ? Distance from LA to Cape Canaveral or Brownsville is about 9000km by barge via the panama canal. NZ is about 10,000km from LA. So, roughly the same. Forgive me if this has been asked before. :-)

Online mn

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1413 on: 09/20/2018 02:42 PM »
Hey guys. When I was looking at the limitations of SpaceX launch sites on another thread, the thought occurred to me: Could SpaceX one day fly out from Mahia, NZ? Distance from LA to Cape Canaveral or Brownsville is about 9000km by barge via the panama canal. NZ is about 10,000km from LA. So, roughly the same. Forgive me if this has been asked before. :-)

I'm pretty sure SpaceX transports their vehicles by land, (ok, except for returning landed stages).

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1414 on: 09/21/2018 12:11 AM »
Hey guys. When I was looking at the limitations of SpaceX launch sites on another thread, the thought occurred to me: Could SpaceX one day fly out from Mahia, NZ? Distance from LA to Cape Canaveral or Brownsville is about 9000km by barge via the panama canal. NZ is about 10,000km from LA. So, roughly the same. Forgive me if this has been asked before. :-)
Not likely. Think SpaceX will operated an Oceanic ASDS out of Wellington Harbour if they established P2P service to NZ.

Offline Michael Bloxham

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1415 on: 09/21/2018 07:07 AM »
I'm pretty sure SpaceX transports their vehicles by land, (ok, except for returning landed stages).

I'm pretty sure the BFR will be transported by sea... It's a very large vehicle, so it has to go the long way via the Panama Canal.

Offline Michael Bloxham

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1416 on: 09/21/2018 07:15 AM »
I don't know the exact travel times from LA to the cape via Panama. But I wouldn't be surprised if it is actually *quicker* to get to NZ from LA. There's no canal to slow you down.

But would a Mahia launch site provide any advantages over Cape Canaveral or Brownsville? Less sea and air traffic to worry about? Less bureaucracy?

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1417 on: 09/21/2018 11:12 PM »
Another slightly O.T. post. Electron is using Elertric Pumpfeed Rutherforth engines. The batteries have a considerable weight during launch. I think battery mass limits their launch capability. So their launch capability will increase with advancement in battery technology.
But what if they want to increase launch capability faster than battery technology advances?
- Could they go for a hybrid system, aka replacing the batteries with a small combustion generator?
- Or could they develop Rutherfords into a pressure feed engines, that are feed by a shared turbo-pump assembly?

I know Rocketlabs wants to keep Electron small and cheap. My thoughts are for a slightly larger more capable launcher that will be the second launch vehicle for Rocketlabs.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1418 on: 09/22/2018 04:25 AM »
Well, maybe they can have a HTP turbine driving an electric generator!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online speedevil

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Re: RocketLab Electron Smallsat Launcher
« Reply #1419 on: 09/22/2018 10:25 AM »
Another slightly O.T. post. Electron is using Elertric Pumpfeed Rutherforth engines. The batteries have a considerable weight during launch. I think battery mass limits their launch capability.
It doesn't.
The battery mass is not a critical factor.
The high ISP pretty much totally makes up for it, as well as the fact you can drop batteries as they are used.
A worked estimate comparing replacing F9 engines with Rutherford.
It is arguable for that case, counting battery and possibly engine module jettisoning that the penalty to GTO is less than one ton.

T:W is 30, not 170, yes. But, remember that for the first stage, you need to add 10 tons to have a 1 ton impact on payload.
And also that most of the first stage is not engines, even at T:W of 30.

Pumped rockets may also let you throw away a lot of subsystems and make some things easier - see above thread.



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