New Zealand space company Rocket Lab launched its first rocket from the United States on Tuesday.
Why is this important?More and more companies are participating the new space race. Due to increasing competition and new technologies such as reusable rockets, space travel is becoming more and more accessible. Companies such as Rocket Lab, which use small rockets and can therefore place payloads in orbit around the earth cheaply, will become increasingly important.
Gasoline: An electron rocket rocket lab was launched from the US state of Virginia, where the company has built a launch site in recent years. After a successful flight, he placed three satellites in orbit around the Earth for the company HawkEye 360.
- This is Rocket Lab’s second launch site. Since 2017, the company’s rockets have been flying into space from its first base in New Zealand. A total of 32 Electron rockets have already been launched there.
- From the new platform, up to 12 missions can be carried out annually. Remarkable, because in theory up to 120 launches per year can take place from the base in New Zealand.
- The main reason the launch site was built in Virginia is to serve US customers who want to launch from the United States. The government, among others, is interested in the launch capabilities of the company.
Reported several times
Also noted: Normally, the first launch from the base in Virginia, under construction since 2018, was to take place as early as 2020. However, administrative problems threw turnkey.
- Specifically, it was about issues with the security software that should ensure that a missile launch can be automatically halted if something goes wrong.
- The so-called Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU), developed by the American space agency NASA, was supposed to be ready in 2020. However, a number of problems were discovered in the code, which prevented the NAFTU from being ready before October 2022.
- Rocket Lab then planned to launch from the ground up in December. However, the flight was delayed due to a combination of bad weather and – again – administrative issues which were resolved more slowly than expected.
- However, the company now thinks all problems are behind it. It plans to launch 14 electrons this year, including four to six from Virginia. Last year, Rocket Lab launched nine rockets into space.
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