Launch News [SUCCESS] Rocket Lab delivers seven payloads to orbit


The One and Only (AFAIK)
News Reporter
Oct 11, 2009
Reaction score
Rocket Lab’s Electron booster launched six small satellites and a drag sail demonstrator to orbit Sunday from New Zealand, a success on the company’s first commercial mission that officials said should pave the way for a launch carrying NASA CubeSats next month and up to 16 flights of the light-class rocket next year.

The two-stage rocket, standing more than 55 feet (17 meters) tall, fired its nine kerosene-fueled Rutherford main engines at 0350 GMT Sunday (10:50 p.m. EST Saturday) and climbed away from Launch Complex 1, Rocket Lab’s privately-operated spaceport on Mahia Peninsula, located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

The Electron arced toward the south from Mahia Peninsula, riding nearly 50,000 pounds of thrust from the Rutherford engines during a two-and-a-half minute first stage burn.

After lifting off, Electron pitched downrange onto an azimuth that inserted the vehicle into an 85 degree inclination orbit. After 2 minutes 42 seconds of flight, the first stage’s nine Rutherford engines shutdown, followed three seconds later by Stage 1 separation.

The second stage, powered by a single vacuum-optimized Rutherford engine, ignited at T+2 minutes 48 seconds, and the payload fairing separated shortly thereafter at T+3 minutes 6 seconds. At T+9 minutes 12 seconds, Electron will reached orbit; its second stage shutdown three seconds later at a total Mission Elapsed Time of 9 minutes 15 seconds.

Five seconds after Stage 2 shutdown, the second stage separated from the third stage, the Curie kickstage. At this point, Electron and its payloads were in a 500 x 250 km (310 x 155 mile) orbit inclined 85 degrees to the equator.

The Curie kickstage and five payload elements will then coast for 41 minutes 41 seconds before the kickstage ignites at T+51 minutes 1 second. The Curie burn will last for 1 minute 6 seconds, ending at T+52 minutes 7 seconds, to circularize the orbit ahead of payload separation.




Worth to watch!