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Thread: Small Rocket Launches

  1. #91
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    Rocket Lab scrubs launch from New Zealand. (video)

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/01/1...status-center/
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  2. #92
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    A small rocket launch in the air - Virgin Orbit was successful this time with its air launched small payload orbital rocket:

    https://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-r...erone-mission/

    It was launched from California and it appears all their launches will be, but Virgin Orbit is owned by the British Virgin Group and the UAE Mubadala Investment Company. I’m just noting that for the 2021 launch thread. On one hand, Virgin Orbit is based in California and it is a launch from US soil, on the other hand it is a British and UAE owned rocket. It’s similar to the Rocket Lab situation (US ownership, New Zealand launch).

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  3. #93
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    By the way, I think that counts as the first orbital launch from Mojave space port, which I believe is normally a fairly quiet place.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  4. #94
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    Skyrora XL rocket is a three-stage, light-class, launch vehicle intended for placing payloads into Sun-Synchronized Orbit (SSO) over a range of 500km to 1000km altitude.

  5. #95
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    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...32#post2528632

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-55699262

    Sir Richard Branson's rocket company Virgin Orbit has succeeded in putting its first satellites in space.
    Ten payloads in total were lofted on the same rocket, which was launched from under the wing of one of the entrepreneur's old 747 jumbos.
    Sir Richard is hoping to tap into what is a growing market for small, lower-cost satellites.
    By using a jet plane as the launch platform, he can theoretically send up spacecraft from anywhere in the world.
    In reality, of course, his Virgin Orbit system has to be licensed in the locality where it is used, which at the moment is solely California. But there are well-advanced plans to bring the 747 and its rockets to Cornwall in south-west England, for example.
    So we may see ‘launches’ from new sites like Cornwall!

  6. #96
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    Rocket Lab launches secretive communications satellite for OHB. Rocket Lab successfully launched a communications satellite for German company OHB Group Jan. 20 in the first Electron mission of the year. The Electron lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 1 at Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, at 2:26 a.m. Eastern after a brief delay because of gusty winds. Rocket Lab scrubbed the original launch attempt for the “Another One Leaves the Crust” mission four days earlier because of “strange data” from a sensor. Electron released the sole satellite on the mission, GMS-T, 70 minutes after liftoff. “Perfect orbit, payload deployed. Hello 2021!” tweeted Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab.

    https://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-lau...llite-for-ohb/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  7. #97
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    BluShift biofuel rocket awaits weather before launch today from Maine.

    https://www.wabi.tv/2021/01/19/maine...nesday-launch/

    ==

    Brunswick company, Falmouth students plan to make history with rocket launch. A Brunswick company will make history by launching a rocket any day now, and a project by Falmouth students will be along for the ride. When the Stardust 1.0 blasts off from the former Loring Airforce Base in Limestone, it will be the first rocket to launch commercially from Maine. All they need is a couple of days of clear weather. "We're waiting to see a two-day window open up, where there's less than 50 percent cloud cover and wind speeds are below 6 miles per hour,” bluShift Aerospace CEO and Founder Sascha Deri said. bluShift Aerospace is based in Brunswick, and the CEO believes it will be the first company to launch payloads using a bio-derived fuel. He says the material comes from farms, is carbon free and nontoxic, unlike more typical fuel.

    https://wgme.com/news/local/brunswic...-rocket-launch
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2021-Jan-20 at 04:27 PM.
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  8. #98
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    Australia's leading rocket company, Gilmour Space Technologies, has ushered in the New Year with a successful hotfire of the world's largest single-port hybrid rocket engine. "We achieved a record 91 kilonewtons (or 9 tonnes-force) of thrust in this initial verification test of our main engine," said Adam Gilmour, CEO and co-founder of Gilmour Space, a Queensland-based company that is developing a three-stage rocket capable of launching small satellites into low earth orbits.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...Space_999.html
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  9. #99
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    SpaceX's launch of Transporter-1 is a major challenge to small rocket launches. Many of them will fail but thee will be others that will succeed. Time will tell how this ecosystem will evolve.

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4113/1

    Two competing visions for the future of launching smallsats played out on consecutive Sundays this month.

    On January 17, Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne took to the skies on its second test flight, appropriately called Launch Demo 2. The company’s first launch, in May 2019, failed seconds after the company’s LauncherOne rocket released from its Boeing 747 carrier aircraft and ignited its NewtonThree engine. A liquid oxygen propellant line ruptured, depriving the engine of propellant and causing it to shut down (see “It’s (small) rocket science, after all”, The Space Review, July 6, 2020)
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  10. #100
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    "Virgin Orbit to launch first satellite for Dutch Ministry Of Defense"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/V...fense_999.html

    Virgin Orbit has been selected by the Dutch space engineering company Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS) to launch the Royal Netherlands Air Force's (RNLAF) first ever satellite, a 6U CubeSat called BRIK-II.
    I am because we are
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  11. #101
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    Rocket Lab stretched the performance of the kick stage of its Electron rocket on its most recent launch, the first in a series of milestones the company has set out for this year. During the Jan. 20 launch, Electron’s kick stage placed its payload, a satellite built by German company OHB Group, into a circular orbit at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers. The kick stage fired again to lower the perigee of its orbit by 740 kilometers to accelerate its eventual reentry.

    https://spacenews.com/electron-launc...ed-kick-stage/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  12. #102
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    Small launch vehicle developer Firefly Aerospace, nearing its first orbital launch attempt, is looking to raise $350 million to scale up production and work on a new, larger vehicle.

    https://spacenews.com/firefly-aerosp...e-350-million/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  13. #103
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    World's biggest drone will send satellites into space on a rocket. The Ravn X is the first stage of Aevum's autonomous aerial-satellite delivery system. At 80 feet long and 18 feet tall, the Ravn X is the world's biggest drone.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/worlds-big...e-on-a-rocket/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    World's biggest drone will send satellites into space on a rocket. The Ravn X is the first stage of Aevum's autonomous aerial-satellite delivery system. At 80 feet long and 18 feet tall, the Ravn X is the world's biggest drone.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/worlds-big...e-on-a-rocket/
    And I hear they say it's the world's biggest drone.

    Which...is only true for a definition of drone that excludes rockets.

    "The launch system is 70% reusable, Aevum said."...except for the part that does all the actual work. If you considered pad infrastructure, even SLS would be "mostly reusable". Aevum hasn't made a good argument for why building the world's biggest drone (apart from rockets) will be cheaper than just building a slightly larger rocket.

    They are at least ahead of others in not requiring their flying launchpad to have people aboard for the launch.

  15. #105
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    Success! A Maine startup made its first, albeit small, step towards space Jan. 31 with the successful launch of a rocket testing the engine technology it plans to use on future small launch vehicles. The Stardust 1.0 rocket by Braunschweig, Maine-based bluShift Aerospace launched at about 3 p.m. Eastern from the Loring Commerce Centre, a former Air Force base in northern Maine. The rocket fired its hybrid rocket engine for about 10 seconds on a very low altitude flight, with the rocket parachuting back to the ground minutes later.

    https://spacenews.com/startup-tests-...aunch-vehicle/

    ==

    Maine company successfully launches prototype rocket. Brunswick-based bluShift Aerospace launched a 20-foot (6-meter) prototype rocket, hitting an altitude of a little more than 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) in a first run designed to test the rocket's propulsion and control systems. It carried a science project by Falmouth High School students that will measure flight metrics such as barometric pressure, a special alloy that's being tested by a New Hampshire company—and a Dutch dessert called stroopwafel, in an homage to its Amsterdam-based parent company. Organizers of the launch said the items were included to demonstrate the inclusion of a small payload. The company, which launched from the northern Maine town of Limestone, the site of the former Loring Air Force Base, is one of dozens racing to find affordable ways to launch so-called nano satellites. Some of them, called Cube-Sats, can be as small as 10 centimeters by 10 centimeters.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-02-maine-...pe-rocket.html

    ===

    Groundbreaking biofuel rocket could be 'Uber for space'. Snow swirled and a biting wind sent temperatures plummeting to several degrees below zero as the Stardust 1.0 made its debut at a former military base in Maine. Strapped to a trailer and pulled by a pick-up truck along a runway once used by B-52 bombers in the Cold War, it wasn't the most glamorous entrance for a rocket about to make history. And it very nearly didn't as the subzero conditions played havoc with the electronics and clouds moved in. But after several delays and as the Sunday afternoon light waned, Stardust finally lifted off, becoming the first commercial launch of a rocket powered by bio-derived fuel. Sascha Deri, who invented the biofuel, is cagey about what it's made of, but says it can be sourced from farms around the world. The founder and chief executive of bluShift Aerospace, he and his team have spent more than six years refining the formula and designing a modular hybrid engine, which is also unique.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55845762

    .
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2021-Feb-01 at 02:24 PM.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  16. #106
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    Umbra raises $32 million for radar satellite constellation. Umbra, based in Santa Barbara, California and previously known as Umbra Lab, is preparing to launch its first microsatellite this year to provide Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery with a resolution of less than 25 centimeters. Umbra is building multiple satellites and preparing to expand its 45-person staff. The company has posted job openings in engineering, product, software, operations and marketing in its Santa Barbara and Austin, Texas facilities.

    https://spacenews.com/umbra-raises-32-million/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  17. #107
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    Small launch vehicle developer Astra will go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), providing the company with nearly $500 million in cash and valuing it at more than $2 billion. Astra announced Feb. 2 an agreement to merge with Holicity, a SPAC established last year by Craig McCaw. That merger, expected to close in the second quarter, will turn Astra into a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq exchange with the ticker symbol ASTR. McCaw, chairman and chief executive of Holicity, will join Astra’s board as part of the deal.

    https://spacenews.com/astra-to-go-pu...ger-with-spac/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  18. #108
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    A new smart suborbital rocket developed by a private Chinese company was successfully launched from a site in northwest China on Friday, according to the company. The "Chongqing Liangjiang Star" OS-X6B, with a length of 9.4 meters, was launched at 5:05 p.m. It completed a flight time of about 580 seconds, reaching a maximum altitude of about 300 km, said OneSpace Technology Group Co. The launch marks the first time that a private Chinese rocket company has realized controlled re-entry flight, human-in-the-loop space flight control, and (upper stage) redundant fault-tolerant control, according to OneSpace.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/P...ocket_999.html
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  19. #109
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    Vega C is the next generation of the European small lift launcher developed by Avio under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency and is now ready for the maiden flight. The rocket will also launch the Space Rider in the near future and a new smaller and versatile version is under development.

    https://spacenews.com/vega-c-a-new-generation-launcher/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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