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I've recently come across rocketlab's upper stage called kickstage which is the final deploying stage for their dedicated launch service. Is this just a fancier name for an upper stage? Have there been any previous concepts of kickstages for the upper stage designs? Is this considered a stage?

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  • $\begingroup$ slightly related What is Rocket Lab's new Curie “Kick Stage”? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 21 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I am aware, but I wanted to know if kick stages were part of the microlauncher staging method, or there existed other cocnepts rebranded as kick stage by Rocket Labs. Thanks $\endgroup$ – Rajath Pai Feb 22 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ People often/usually add "related's" for future reference, if someone finds and reads this question, they may be interested in reading further on the same/similar topic. By leaving a "related"comment the other question appears in the Linked section to the right, and also this question now appears in the Linked section on the other page, so traffic is directed both ways. I add the word "slightly" to make it even clearer that it's not an answer. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 22 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ I see. Thanks for clarifying that. I appreciate it. $\endgroup$ – Rajath Pai Feb 22 at 15:36
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"Kick stage" or "apogee kick motor" is a loosely defined term for the last stage of a satellite launcher. Frequently it's the stage that puts the satellite into its final orbit. The term is not specific to RocketLabs.

It might be developed independently of the rest of the launcher; for example a given launcher might be able to launch large payloads directly into low Earth orbit, or put smaller payloads into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) (that is, an elliptical trajectory going from LEO to geosynchronous altitude), and a "kick stage" attached to the payload could put it into the final geosynchronous orbit.

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