Questions tagged [rocketlab]

RocketLab, is a private American & New Zealand space exploration company that design & build the Electron launch vehicle.

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What are/have been some dedicated launchers for the 100-1000 kg to LEO(sub 1000 km)payload market?

Today's satellites are between 50-500 kg mostly apart form cubesats and their larger versions(3U-16U), which have brought the demand for microlaunchers. Rocket Lab's Electron, is one great example. I ...
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Exit pressure for Rocket Lab Curie engine

What do you think the exit pressure for rocket lab curie engine could be?and the area ratio as well? its a kickstage engine and it is said that it has about 25lbf thrust.
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Are LiPo batteries more suitable for 1st stage electric power than Li-ion batteries?

I've just ran across two mentions in Scott Manley's videos of LiPo batteries (Lithium-polymer) in first stage launch applications. These involve power levels of megawatts. Why The Electron Rocket May ...
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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 ...
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Why aren't air breathing engines used as small first stages?

I am wondering why we don't use jet engines as first stages. Most small rockets, like the Electron, can lift off with a small thrust. In the Electron's case, 192 kN. Why can't we replace the 9 ...
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Are Kickstages exclusive to Rocketlabs Electron Design?

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 ...
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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-...
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How do NASA Venture Class Launch Services Contracts work?

The Rocket Lab YouTube video ELaNa 19 Launch - 12/16/2018 contained a short video which was preceded by the following explanation after about 08:00: Today’s ...
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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 ...
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Do launch vehicle companies like SpaceX and RocketLab use magnetometers in their IMU units? If not, why?

I am aware that most launch vehicle companies use strapdown IMU systems, consisting of gyros and accelerometers. I was thinking if one could use a magnetometer and accelerometer to get data (like they ...
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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)? ...
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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 stage of a ...
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Does Rocket Lab's Rutherford have margin for uprating with improved battery technology?

We've seen with SpaceX's Merlin engines that the initial design had a lot of headroom for subsequent increases in chamber pressure and mass flow rate (from supercooling and densification) to gain ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why is Rocketlabs having lengthy combustion chamber?

Looking at different rocket engines, L/D(CC_length/CC_diameter) ratio of combustion chamber is very much less compared to Rocket labs. Even the modern age engines like Merlin 1d and Raptor engines ...
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What is the thickness of the Falcon 9 - Electron outer casing (outer shell)?

What is the material of the Falcon 9 outer casing/electron shell, and what is the technical jargon for that specific part?
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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 ...
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Mass, Chamber pressure and cooling type of Rutherford Engine

What are the specifications of Rocket Lab's Rutherford Engine used by the Electron Rocket? I'm looking for the chamber pressure, propellant mass flow rate, type of cooling for the nozzle, size of ...
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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 ...
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What is Rocket Lab's new Curie “Kick Stage”?

This reddit points to Rocket Lab's news page Rocket Lab successfully circularizes orbit with new Electron kick stage. It is named Curie, presumably after Marie? According to the Rocket Lab's article: ...
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Why would Humanity Star not be visible from North America (USA?) until March?

A quote near the end of the BBC's article 'Disco ball' put into space from NZ says: Jonathan McDowell, a satellite-tracker and astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, ...
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Does Humanity Star have non-reflective triangular panels? If so, what are their characteristics?

Rocket Lab has successfully launched a rocket from New Zealand and placed several objects in orbit, see here for example. One payload is New Zealand's first satellite the Humanity Star, a reflective ...
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What “green” propellant powers Curie, the engine on RocketLab's payload kickstage?

Upon news of RocketLab's successful flight of the Electron launch vehicle, it was announced that not only had they deployed the three onboard payloads into the desired orbit, they had done so using a ...
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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 ...
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To what extent, if any, does the exterior paint color of a launch vehicle affect its propellant & vehicle thermal management?

Many orbital launch vehicles use a combination of a chilled oxidiser (usually LOX when dealing with liquid-fuelled rockets) and a fuel (commonly RP-1, but with many designs now opting for Methane). ...
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Why is Rocket Lab's New Zealand launch site good for polar orbits?

The Channel News Asia article New Zealand launches into space race with 3D-printed rocket says: Ships and planes need re-routing every time a rocket is launched, which limits opportunities in ...
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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 ...
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When is the first commercial Rocket Lab launch occurring out of Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand?

Rocket Lab announced the new launch site at Mahia last year. Which is due for completion soon. According to their booking system commercial launches will happen in quarter 4 of 2016. Do we know the ...