Vector Space Systems tests micro rocket in Georgia, US

US-based spaceflight startup Vector Space Systems has conducted a test flight of its small launch vehicle at Camden Spaceport in Georgia.

During the test, the company used a full-scale prototype of its 40ft tall Vector-R rocket, which reached its intended altitude of 10,000ft.

The rocket carried a test payload that included packages from Nasa, Astro Digital and the Centre for Applied Technology.

The flight was partially funded by Nasa and was approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reported CNBC.

It also marks the second flight of the vehicle and the first ever flight carried out in Camden Spaceport.

"The flight was partially funded by Nasa and was approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration."

Designed to carry payloads weighing up to 145lb into lower Earth orbit, the Vector-R is one of the two launch vehicles currently being developed by Vector Space Systems.

The second rocket, Vector-H, is slightly larger than Vector-R and can carry payloads weighing more than 350lb.

Following the completion of the tests, Vector aims to conduct frequent orbital launches of small satellites using both its rockets.

Founded last year, Vector has so far raised more than $30m in funds. In its latest investment round, the company has raised $21m.

It is estimated that the microsatellite industry is expected to be worth $7.5bn within five years.

CNBC reported that SpaceX's Falcon 9 vehicle charges $62m per launch, which is one of the most discounted prices in the space industry, but this amount is still too high for small firms. Vector-R aims to charge less than $3m a launch.