Questions tagged [electron]

Electron is a small, two-stage, orbital launch vehicle developed by the New Zealand & United States company RocketLab. Developed almost entirely out of carbon-fibre composites, it has nine Rutherford engines on its first stage, and a single Rutherford engine on its second stage, and can take 150kg to a 500km sun-synchronous orbit.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
1 answer
92 views

What is Rocket Lab Electron's dry mass?

Does anyone know how heavy Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is without fuel? Or do you by chance have any information about the fuel capacity of the first and second stage? I'm trying to model its flight ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

Why did the "Running out of Toes" mission fail?

On May 15, 2021, Rocket Lab's Electron failed in the "Running Out of Toes" mission. The first stage had a nominal flight. Then, from looking at the launch video published by Rocket Lab, the ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
447 views

What is the "recovery" helicopter for the Electron booster carrying?

This Rocket Lab tweet says While we won’t be attempting a mid-air capture today, for the first time a helicopter will be stationed in the recovery zone offshore to track and observe the descending ...
user avatar
  • 148k
24 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is "anti-geysering" and why would you turn it off 70 seconds before launch?

Today Rocket Lab launched the Electron from Launch Complex 1 Pad A in New Zealand, and there was something about ...the first time a helicopter will be stationed in the recovery zone offshore to ...
user avatar
  • 148k
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

Which pipeline is this, found outside the launch vehicle?

which pipeline is this found on the electron launch vehicle?
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
114 views

Does electric fuel pumping scale well for rockets?

The Electron launch vehicle first stage has nine Rutherford engines In addition to adapting the single-engine-out-friendly nine engine configuration from the Falcon-9, the rocket carries a significant ...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Payload capacity of Electron rocket?

I can only find the Electron capacity for LEO and SSO: 300 and 200 kg And for Venus: 15 kg (which links to here) But what is the capacity for GTO, Moon and Mars? LEO = Low Earht Orbit SSO = Sun-...
user avatar
  • 2,454
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

Could an electrically pumped rocket stage position its batteries to enable it to re-enter stably nose-first?

Are the batteries in existing or planned electrically pumped rocket stages massive enough to change the centre of mass of the empty stage such that new re-entry strategies are available? e.g. Could ...
user avatar
  • 49
5 votes
0 answers
205 views

Why does the Rutherford engine seem to ignite instantly?

A highlight of any Rocket Lab Electron launch is second stage ignition, seen from an impressive angle in this video from Flight 16: Notably ignition seems ...
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
263 views

What is the mass of the Electron rocket's battery pack?

I am trying to estimate battery weights for electric pump fed rockets of various sizes and wanted to use the electron rocket as data to validate my calculations. However I was unable to find the mass ...
user avatar
  • 665
6 votes
1 answer
173 views

Electron rocket holding & releasing mechanism

Launch vehicles generally include a holding & releasing mechanism so that it will not leave the ground until proper engine function is confirmed and stable and sufficient thrust is achieved. These ...
user avatar
  • 71
3 votes
1 answer
135 views

How much payload capacity is available for a Rocketlab Photon interplanetary mission to Venus?

I've been quite interested in Rocketlab's Photon satellite bus, which they claim to be able to send to Venus. I'm trying to get some kind of an idea of what kind of payload might possible be able to ...
user avatar
  • 118k
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

How is fuel distributed in multi engine rocket stages?

How is fuel distributed evenly to multi-engine rockets like the Falcon 9, Electron, or multi-engined Centaurs? I would presume that there is only one main propellant line that goes down the raceway ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
234 views

Could the Electron launch a cubesat to Mars

Could the Electron in combination with it's kickstage deliver any meaningful mass to Mars, ie; a 2kg cubesat or is it unable to reach the required velocities even with no payload. Rocketlab are ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
415 views

Why does the Electron rocket throw sparks; especially at SECO?

The RocketLab YouTube video STP-27RD Launch - 05/05/2019 shows the exhaust plume from the second stage engine evolve as the atmospheric pressure drops. During this time there are frequent outbursts of ...
user avatar
  • 148k
3 votes
1 answer
172 views

Could OneWeb's satellites be launched on Electron rockets?

OneWeb's satellites weigh about 150 kg each, which is within the range of the Electron rocket. However I am not sure about the target orbit(s). Technically speaking, could OneWeb launch its satellite ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
169 views

All dressed up and no place to go; who will be Stratolauncher's aircraft-launched rocket?

According to the Verge's Stratolaunch is scaling back operations following the death of co-founder Paul Allen, development of planned rocket has been paused. Does that leave the Scaled Composites ...
user avatar
  • 148k
10 votes
1 answer
475 views

Are the ejected first stage Electron rocket batteries really incinerated?

This answer reminded me that the Electron rocket drops one of it's batteries when it is mostly spent. We might call that "micro-staging". This answer quotes Spaceflight 101: With a low auto-...
user avatar
  • 148k
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Rocket flywheel instead of battery/generator (crazy idea)?

The Electron rocket is launched using a battery instead of generator... I saw some video about research into using flywheels for energy grid buffer storage, I think that they could reach higher ...
user avatar
  • 413
0 votes
2 answers
287 views

How does the camera make the exhaust of the Electron's RP-1/LOX exhaust transparent?

In this 20-Nov-2018 Tweet from Rocket Labs XXX Peter Beck there is an image of the nine Rutherford engines of an Electron rocket burning. What is unusual is that the exhaust is luminescent but at the ...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
246 views

Payloads and orbits Virgin Galactic's Launcher 1 can provide, comparison to Electron?

What type of payload and orbit will Virgin Galactic's Launcher-1 be used for? How does it compare to Rocket Labs' Electron in terms of capacity an types of orbits accessible (inclination, altitude)? ...
user avatar
  • 148k
6 votes
0 answers
179 views

What's the sudden pitching of Rocket Lab's 'It's Business Time" launch at separation?

In today's Rocket Lab launch of the "It's Business Time" mission, there was a substantial and swift change in attitude upon stage separation. It looks scary. I understand that The first ...
user avatar
  • 148k
4 votes
1 answer
181 views

Air-launching an Electron-like LOX-based rocket from a plane; technical challenges?

@GremlinWranger's answer and comments to the question Is it coincidence that the Electron has very similar dimensions to the Pegasus? motivates my asking for the technical challenges to air-launching ...
user avatar
  • 148k
2 votes
1 answer
163 views

Is it coincidence that the Electron has very similar dimensions to the Pegasus?

Orbital ATK Pegasus: 16.9 m × 1.27 m RocketLab Electron: 17 m × 1.2 m Apart from that, the two rockets are very different: the Pegasus is a solid-fuel, air-launched rocket with a mass of 18.5 t and ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
296 views

Nozzle skirt in the second stage of Rocketlab's Electron [duplicate]

As we can see, in the first stage of Rocketlab's Electron the nozzles have small nozzle exit area. Source (all) But for second stage why are they using nozzle skirt/ extension with huge exit area?
user avatar
  • 2,216
3 votes
0 answers
250 views

Do rocket labs store propellants at higher pressure than the other rockets?

It is known that the Rutherford engines run on an electric pump-fed cycle. There must be a trade-off between the tank pressure of the electron rocket and battery capacity, for batteries are dead ...
user avatar
  • 1,161
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Debris breaking away from Electron rocket [duplicate]

In this youtube video of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket launch we can see some debris breaking from the rocket. Besides the ice, there seems to be some sort of a black square-ish structure to the left ...
user avatar
  • 2,216
3 votes
0 answers
293 views

Why put both Orbex and Rocket Labs on adjacent launch pads in Scotland?

update 2: BBC's May 11, 2022 Scottish spaceport's prototype rocket unveiled update 1: There's some recent and potentially helpful information in NASA Spaceflight September 4, 2019 UK Spaceport at ...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
498 views

Why does Rocket Lab plan to deploy first, circularize later?

According to the recent Spaceflight Now article Rocket Lab updates launch window for first commercial mission: The Irvine01 and NABEO payloads will join two CubeSats for Spire Global, and one ...
user avatar
  • 148k
7 votes
1 answer
378 views

Is it possible to develop a small orbital rocket, like RocketLab's Electron, for a weapons delivery system?

Now that Rocket Labs has proven that orbit is well within the range of small nations and medium-sized companies, I have to wonder about the strategic implications. AFAIK the Electron rocket has an ...
user avatar
  • 2,373
39 votes
1 answer
7k views

What was ejected from RocketLab's Electron launch vehicle at T+6:25 during stage two burn?

For those that watched the second launch of RocketLab's Electron launch vehicle, out of Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand on 21 January 2018; in which the vehicle successfully made it to orbit for the ...
user avatar
  • 8,687
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is efficiency improvement in Rutherford rocket engine?

Wikipedia article on Rutherford rocket engine states that it uses electric pump feed cycle and: The pumps (one for the fuel and one for the oxidizer) in electric pump feed engines are driven by ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the two very large "blue" cylinders attaching to the combustion chamber of each Rutherford Engine?

The NASA Spaceflight article Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket set for inaugural flight from New Zealand mentions the upcoming opening of a 10 day launch window: Rocket Lab, a U.S.-based launch service ...
user avatar
  • 148k