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Thread: Small Rocket Launches

  1. #61
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    "Arianespace Vega mission to perform Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept flight"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A...light_999.html

    With this mission, designated Flight VV16, Arianespace underscores its comprehensive range of innovative and competitive services to address the nano- and micro-satellite market sub-segment, serving both institutional and commercial needs. The creation of such a new service using the company's light-lift Vega led to the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) project.

    The European Space Agency (ESA) funded the SSMS hardware development, and also contributed with the European Union to the funding of this "Proof of Concept" (PoC) flight.

    The combined European efforts will enhance Arianespace's response to the rideshare demand with solutions that are perfectly suited to the flourishing small satellite market.
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  2. #62
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    Rocket Lab's latest flight ends in failure before reaching orbit.

    spaceflightnow
    A failure during the second stage burn of a Rocket Lab Electron rocket caused seven small commercial satellites to crash back to Earth Saturday following liftoff from New Zealand.

    Carrying satellites from the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom, the Electron launcher lifted off from Rocket Lab’s privately-run spaceport on New Zealand’s North Island at 5:19:36 p.m. EDT (2119:36 GMT).
    Scott Manley also has a video about it
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  3. #63
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    Increased competition between private companies could add many new small rocket launches, I heard about new developments from Firefly Aerospace and their rocket lab launch these rockets will clearly find their niche among other counterparts from private companies such as SpaceX.

  4. #64
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    Firefly's back in the game,

    Today we performed a test of the Alpha flight first stage. The four Reaver engines performed 35 seconds of thrust vector control maneuvers, challenging the flame deflectors to constrain all that Reaver power! Today’s test was a major step in Firefly’s march to first flight.
    https://youtu.be/Blv27FHyY4k

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valencia Benz View Post
    Increased competition between private companies could add many new small rocket launches, I heard about new developments from Firefly Aerospace and their rocket lab launch these rockets will clearly find their niche among other counterparts from private companies such as SpaceX.
    I recently linked this in another thread, it's relevant here:
    https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_chr/lau2020.htm

    Even excluding Starlink and OneWeb, almost all of the small satellites were launched on rideshares.

    Small launchers are good if you need some oddball orbit, but you generally don't. If you want to go to a given orbit, there's probably other people who want a similar destination. In most cases, all you want is some solar-synchronous or high-inclination orbit. Smallsat launchers are fighting over the scraps of the market that are left by the rideshares on larger rockets, and there probably isn't enough business for more than a couple companies, and Rocket Lab probably has as good an advantage in that part of the market as SpaceX does in the rest. Rocket Lab's already reconsidered their early position on reuse and are working on booster recovery, Firefly's going to have a tough time competing with them.

  6. #66
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    "ISRO plans to launch new rocket before Dec 2020"

    https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/indi....1601982314549

    The Indian space agency is working towards launching its new rocket 'Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)' before December 2020, said a senior official.

    He also said necessary tests to check its biggest motor -- booster motor fired by solid fuel -- will be done in November.

    "The SSLV launch will be from the first launch pad at Sriharikota rocket port after the flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C49 (PSLV C49). Post PSLV C49's flight, the launch pad set up has to be reconfigured to suit SSLV," S. Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS.
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  7. #67
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    "Large launch companies cast doubt on viability of small launch vehicle market"

    https://spacenews.com/large-launch-c...ehicle-market/

    Executives of major launch companies said they doubted there was sufficient demand for more than a few small launch vehicle developers, citing their own efforts to provide rideshare launch services for smallsats.

    During a panel discussion at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week Virtual Edition conference Nov. 9, Tory Bruno, chief executive and president of United Launch Alliance, said a year ago he was tracking more than 120 ventures in the small launch vehicle or “microlauncher” market. There is now a “significantly smaller” number of such companies, he said, because of fundraising challenges linked to the pandemic.

    “I don’t expect that market to recover because that market would have been grossly — like order of magnitude — oversupplied had all of those startups succeeded,” he said. “There’s really only room, in our judgment, for maybe two or three of these.”
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  8. #68
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    "Will small rockets finally lift off"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/W...t_off_999.html

    The boom in demand for placing small satellites into orbit has boosted interest in small rockets, but industry players do not think the niche will become a business segment of its own.

    "This time last year, we were able to count over 120 startups for microlaunchers, small rockets that would carry a single small satellite. As we look today, there is a significantly smaller number of those," said Tory Bruno, CEO of Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance (ULA), said at a recent industry gathering.

    The frenzy of proposals for small rockets, or microlaunchers, comes as new satellite-based phone and internet networks are shifting away from a few satellites in high, geostationary orbits.

    Instead they use constellations of many, small satellites placed in low earth orbits (LEO).
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  9. #69
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    Black Brant suborbital mission recovered by water splashdown. Color photos and diagrams, very nice.


    https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.10072

    REX: X-ray experiment on the Water Recovery Rocket

    Martin Urban, Ondrej Nentvich, Tomas Baca, Ivo Vertat, Veronika Marsikova, Daniela Doubravova, Vladimir Daniel, Adolf Inneman, Ladisla Pina, Randall L. McEntaffer, Ted B. Schultz, Drew M. Miles, James H. Tutt

    This paper presents Rocket Experiment (REX) that was part of a dual payload rocket campaign for NASA's sounding rocket Black Brant IX with water recovery technology. This mission was a suborbital sounding rocket flight that was launched and recovered on April 4, 2018 and targeted the Vela supernova remnant. The purpose of REX was to classify the Technology Readiness Level of onboard devices designed for space applications. The devices were two wide-field X-ray telescopes consisting of a combination of Lobster-Eye (LE) optics with an uncooled Timepix detector (256 x 256 px @ 55 um), and additional sensors. The first telescope uses a two-dimensional combination of LE modules with a focal length of 1 m and a Field of View (FOV) of 1.0 x 1.2 deg and operates in the energy range of 3 - 60 keV. The second telescope was a one-dimensional LE with a focal length of 250 mm and a FOV of 2.7 x 8.0 deg for the energy range 3 - 40 keV. The X-ray telescopes were supplemented by a camera in the visible spectrum with 1,280 x 1,024 px resolution, which was used to obtain images of the observed sources and to verify the resulting pointing of the rocket carrier. Other devices also include infrared array sensors and inertial measurement units tested for future small satellite missions. The data handler and communication system were built using the Robot Operating System, and both the system and the electronics were deployed and operated in flight. The hardware was successfully recovered after the launch and the data were extracted.
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  10. #70
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    Aevum unveils RavnX, a smallsat-launching reusable drone aircraft

    QUOTE: "Small launch startup Aevum on Dec. 3 unveiled its Ravn X vehicle, a reusable drone aircraft and rocket combination designed to launch small payloads to orbit. Ravn X has been years in development. Aevum, based in Huntsville, Alabama, is positioning Ravn X to compete in the increasingly crowded small launch market, promising fast-response service enabled by an autonomous aircraft that can take off from any mile-long runway."

    https://spacenews.com/aevum-unveils-...nches-rockets/
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  11. #71
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    Dawn Aerospace wins license for suborbital flights. It announced Dec. 9 that it received approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to begin flying the Dawn Mk-II Aurora, a 4.8-meter-long test vehicle the company developed as part of its campaign to develop a spaceplane to conduct multiple daily flights from conventional airports.

    https://spacenews.com/dawn-wins-spaceplane-license/
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  12. #72
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    Isar Aerospace, Orbex raise funding for small launch vehicles. German startup Isar Aerospace announced Dec. 9 it raised a 75 million euro ($91 million) Series B round. European venture capital fund Lakestar led the round with participation from Earlybird and Vsquared Ventures, as well as existing investors. Isar, which raised $17 million in a Series A round a year ago, is working on a launch vehicle called Spectrum designed to place up to 1,000 kilograms in low Earth orbit. The company announced in October an agreement with the French space agency CNES to conduct launches from the spaceport in French Guiana. Orbex, a small launch vehicle company based in Scotland, announced Dec. 9 it raised $24 million in a funding round led by investment firms BGF and Octopus Ventures. Several existing investors joined the round, which also includes 2.5 million euro grant from the European Union’s European Horizon 2020 program to support technology development.

    https://spacenews.com/isar-aerospace...unch-vehicles/
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  13. #73
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    Launch integration company TriSept has purchased a launch from Relativity Space that it plans to use for a smallsat rideshare mission as soon as 2022. TriSept announced the contract Dec. 10 for a launch of Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket no earlier than 2022. The launch will take place either from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station or Vandenberg Air Force Base, depending on the requirements of the mission. TriSept will use the launch for a rideshare mission, likely featuring a large primary payload and smaller secondary payloads.

    https://spacenews.com/trisept-purcha...share-mission/
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  14. #74
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    Three small launch vehicle developers won a combined $16.7 million in NASA contracts as part of an effort to support the development of new launch vehicles. Astra Space, Firefly Aerospace and Relativity Space won the contracts through NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) 2 program, the agency announced Dec. 11. The companies will launch cubesats provided by NASA on those missions, with launches required by the end of June 2022.

    https://spacenews.com/three-companie...nch-contracts/
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  15. #75
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    NASA's ELaNa 20 Mission First to Fly on Virgin Orbit Launch. Ten NASA-sponsored CubeSats are preparing to fly on the agency's next Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission, making this the first payload carried by Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...aunch_999.html
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  17. #77
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    Good try by Astra. Next time could make it, 3rd time lucky. Good luck.
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  18. #78
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    Ten companies bid for NASA small launch vehicle contract. A NASA small launch vehicle competition attracted bids from 10 companies, but half of them were effectively disqualified because of deficiencies or other problems.

    https://spacenews.com/ten-companies-...icle-contract/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  19. #79
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    SpinLaunch expands New Mexico test site. SpinLaunch expects to perform the first suborbital tests of a prototype of its centrifugal system for launching small satellites later this year from New Mexico. The company, based in Long Beach, California, has said little about its efforts to develop a mass accelerator that would, in effect, serve as the first stage of a smallsat launch system, an approach the company argues will allow it to launch payloads at lower costs and higher frequencies than traditional launch vehicles. It has raised $80 million to date, including a $35 million round a year ago. While SpinLaunch has offered few details about its technology, it did announce Dec. 15 that it is expanding its operations at Spaceport America in New Mexico. In a joint statement with the state’s Economic Development Department, SpinLaunch said it planned to hire 59 more people at the site “and complete the build of its suborbital centrifugal launch system for its next phase of development.”

    https://spacenews.com/spinlaunch-exp...ico-test-site/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    SpinLaunch expands New Mexico test site. SpinLaunch expects to perform the first suborbital tests of a prototype of its centrifugal system for launching small satellites later this year from New Mexico. The company, based in Long Beach, California, has said little about its efforts to develop a mass accelerator that would, in effect, serve as the first stage of a smallsat launch system, an approach the company argues will allow it to launch payloads at lower costs and higher frequencies than traditional launch vehicles. It has raised $80 million to date, including a $35 million round a year ago. While SpinLaunch has offered few details about its technology, it did announce Dec. 15 that it is expanding its operations at Spaceport America in New Mexico. In a joint statement with the state’s Economic Development Department, SpinLaunch said it planned to hire 59 more people at the site “and complete the build of its suborbital centrifugal launch system for its next phase of development.”

    https://spacenews.com/spinlaunch-exp...ico-test-site/
    ...seriously, why are people giving these guys money? They make ARCA look like a sound investment.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    ...seriously, why are people giving these guys money? They make ARCA look like a sound investment.
    I haven't heard anything else about SpinLaunch, just this article.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I haven't heard anything else about SpinLaunch, just this article.
    Their launch scheme involves a vacuum centrifuge the size of a football stadium that inflicts nearly 10000 gravities of acceleration on the rocket and payload before slamming them into ground-level atmosphere at mach 5. They then reach about the altitude and speed you'd get from a rather poor solid rocket first stage before firing up the rocket and continuing on to orbit, which will probably still take them two stages due to all the mass overhead of surviving the centrifuge launch. And of course the centrifuge can only target one orbital plane.

    ARCA's steam-powered aerospike booster is brilliant in comparison.

  23. #83
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    Though the basic technology could be quite useful on the moon or maybe Mars (though you might want to put it on Olympus Mons) to cheaply put mass in orbit.

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  24. #84
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    If the centrifuge generates sustained 10.000g which your payload and stage(s) have to survive, wouldn't it be far easier to just build a modern "supergun" that shoots projectiles into orbit directly?
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    If the centrifuge generates sustained 10.000g which your payload and stage(s) have to survive, wouldn't it be far easier to just build a modern "supergun" that shoots projectiles into orbit directly?
    Since you need a rocket to get into orbit anyway, why not just make it a bit bigger to get the extra 1700 m/s?

  26. #86
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    Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab schedule first launches of 2021. Virgin Orbit has rescheduled its second orbital launch attempt for Jan. 10 as another small launch vehicle company, Rocket Lab, announces plans for its first launch of 2021. Virgin Orbit announced Jan. 5 that the second flight of its LauncherOne air-launch rocket is now scheduled for Jan. 10 between 1 and 5 p.m. Eastern. The rocket will be carried aloft by a modified Boeing 747 aircraft taking off from Mojave Air and Space Port, which will release it off the coast of Southern California.

    https://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-r...nches-of-2021/
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  27. #87
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    Rocket Lab's to launch communications satellite for OHB Group in first 2021 mission.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/R...ssion_999.html
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  28. #88
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    "Smallsat launch providers readying for first missions of 2021"

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/01/1...sions-of-2021/

    Virgin Orbit and Rocket Lab teams are gearing up for their first missions of the year in the coming days, with Virgin’s air-launched rocket set for its second demonstration flight and Rocket Lab’s Electron booster poised to launch a small German-owned communications satellite.

    The second test flight of Virgin Orbit’s air-dropped LauncherOne vehicle is scheduled no earlier than Wednesday, Jan. 13. Ten CubeSats from U.S. universities and a NASA research center are aboard the rocket, which will be released from Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 carrier aircraft over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.

    Rocket Lab’s first flight of 2021 is scheduled for a 10-day window opening Saturday, Jan. 16. A two-stage Electron launcher will carry a European tech demo satellite into orbit from Rocket Lab’s base in New Zealand for OHB Group, an aerospace company based in Bremen, Germany.
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  29. #89
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    Virgin Orbit now targeting Sunday for 1st spaceflight. The four-hour launch window opens at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT).

    https://www.space.com/virgin-orbit-f...ch-jan-17-2021
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  30. #90
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    Rocket Lab is set to start its busiest year with the dedicated launch of a micro-satellite aboard their Electron rocket for OHB Group. Named “Another One Leaves The Crust,” the mission is set to launch at 02:41 EST (07:41 UTC) on Saturday, January 16 from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1A on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula. Due to mission requirements, the daily launch window is only four minutes long, closing at 02:45 EST (07:45 UTC). This will be the 18th launch of the Electron rocket overall, the first of at least nine announced missions for this year, and the first mission for the company demonstrating a rapid contract to launch period.

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021...or-rocket-lab/
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