Rocket Lab announced Jan. 20 that the second launch of its Electron small rocket was a success, reaching orbit and deploying three cubesats.
At last count, at least 35 small launch vehicles were in development. Some of them may actually fly. Will that wave of activity continue to swell this year, or will it break and crash?
Rocket Lab announced Jan. 11 it plans to make another attempt to launch its Electron small rocket on its second mission later this month.
Stymied by poor weather and technical glitches, including one that aborted a launch just two seconds before liftoff, Rocket Lab said Dec. 16 it will delay its next Electron launch attempt until early 2018.
Rocket Lab scrubbed a launch of its Electron small launch vehicle Dec. 11 after an abort just two seconds before liftoff.
U.S.-New Zealand launch vehicle developer Rocket Lab announced Nov. 29 it plans to conduct the second launch of its Electron small rocket in December.
Several startups offering dedicated launches for small satellites say they are on the verge of carrying their first customers, but none so far have progressed beyond test launches.
Rocket Lab, the U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, said Sept. 26 that it will fly four cubesats from two companies on the rocket’s next test flight late this year.
Rocket Lab blamed the failure of its first Electron rocket to reach orbit on a telemetry glitch in ground equipment that can be easily corrected, keeping the company on track to begin commercial launches by the end of this year.
Despite the ongoing development of a fleet of small launch vehicles, both launch providers and customers continue to see demand for flying small satellites as secondary payloads on larger rockets.
Rocket Lab, a U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, declared success on its first launch May 25, although the rocket failed to reach orbit.
Wind conditions at the New Zealand launch site subsided, but the company said concerns about static electric charges led them to postpone the launch.
The company said Sunday that high winds at its New Zealand launch site prevented rolling the rocket out to the pad, pushing back the launch to late Monday.