Rocket Lab to provide Electron launch vehicle for new Spaceflight mission
Rocket Lab has entered a deal with launch services and mission management provider Spaceflight to sell its Electron rocket for new missions.
Once delivered, Spaceflight will use the Electron rocket to increase the frequency of its dedicated rideshare missions.
The rocket will also be used to conduct the missions involving difficult-to-come-by launch destinations such as mid-inclination orbits for remote sensing satellites.
Spaceflight launch business president Curt Blake said: “There are numerous rideshare launches each year to Sun-synchronous orbit, but getting to 45° to 60° is hard to find, and can cost the equivalent of buying an entire rocket.
“We are thrilled to be working with Rocket Lab to enable our customers’ remote sensing missions that require high-revisit time over North America, Europe, and the Middle East.”
In 2015, Spaceflight bought a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to begin its dedicated rideshare launch service.
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said: “We are delighted that Spaceflight has chosen to sign up as a customer ahead of testing, reflecting confidence in Electron and its ability to provide frequent launch opportunities to low-Earth orbit.”
Designed to carry payloads of 225kg to an elliptical orbit and up to 150kg to a nominal 500km Sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit, the Electron carbon-composite vehicle is suitable for dedicated rideshare missions.
Dedicated rideshare missions are conducted to launch several payloads using a single rocket to a specific destination.
Image: An Electron rocket from Rocket Lab. Photo: courtesy of Rocket Lab USA.