Rocket Lab launches Satellite to Orbit

Rocket Lab reaches Orbit with Electron rocket and Deploys satellite!

Huntington Beach, California and Auckland, New Zealand January 21 2018:

Rocket Lab has successfully reached orbit with the test flight of its second Electron orbital launch vehicle, Still Testing. Electron lifted-off at 14:43 NZDT from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand.

Following successful first and second stage burns, Electron reached orbit and deployed customer payloads at 8 minutes and 31 seconds after lift-off.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era in commercial access to space. We’re thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after our first test launch,” says Rocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck. “Our incredibly dedicated and talented team have worked tirelessly to develop, build and launch Electron. I’m immensely proud of what they have achieved today.”

“Reaching orbit on a second test flight is significant on its own, but successfully deploying customer payloads so early in a new rocket program is almost unprecedented. Rocket Lab was founded on the principal of opening access to space to better understand our planet and improve life on it. Today we took a significant step towards that,” he says.

In the coming weeks Rocket Lab engineers will analyse the data from today’s launch to inform future launches. Rocket Lab currently has five Electron vehicles in production, with the next launch expected to take place in early 2018. At full production, Rocket Lab expects to launch more than 50 times a year, and is regulated to launch up to 120 times a year, more than any other commercial or government launch provider in history.

Still Testing was carrying a Dove Pioneer Earth-imaging satellite for launch customer Planet, as well as two Lemur-2 satellites for weather and ship tracking company Spire.

Rocket Lab’s commercial phase will see Electron fly already-signed customers including NASA, Spire, Planet, Moon Express and Spaceflight.” -Rocket Lab

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Zuma follow up

Great summary video from Everyday Astronaut. SpaceX completed successfully their obligation to deliver Zuma to target orbit. So lets look at the facts. Watch this excellent video:

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SpaceX Zuma Launch Info: Take 2

UPDATE: Successful Launch and Landing. Zuma payload is on its way.
Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 7.59.41 PM

Top Secret Mission Zuma – an not yet identified payload built by Northrop Grumman. This restricted payload is being launched into low earth orbit which would be compatible with a military communications satellite. No agency has yet claimed the payload.

This Rocket was originally scheduled on November 17th 2017 but was postponed due to issues with the fairing. A new window opens up on Jan. 7th at 8pm EST.



Launch Date: UPDATED – January 7th 2018, 8:00 – 10:00 EST (January 8th 2018, 01:00 – 03:00 UTC)
Launch Site: SLC-40,Cape Canaveral
Payload: Zuma secret mission
Landing: YES – at LZ-1

Live Broadcast: SpaceX webcast: here

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SpaceX Iridium NEXT Constellation Mission 4 Launch Info


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. This is the fourth set of 10 satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium® NEXT

Launch Date: December 22nd 2017, 17:27:23 PST ( 8:27 P.M. Eastern)
Backup Launch date: 8:21 Eastern on Saturday 23rd

Launch Site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Payload: set of 10 IridiumSM NEXT satellites

Landing: No
(Falcon 9’s first stage for the Iridium-4 mission previously supported the Iridium-2 mission from SLC-4E in June 2017. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.)

Live Broadcast: SpaceX webcast: here and Youtube: here


Iridium-4 vertical at Vandenberg

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Images of Falcon Heavy at Cape

Elon Musk posted these pictures on Twitter. Are we inching closer to the launch of Falcon Heavy in January?





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The Flight of Mannequin Skywalker

Passenger view from latest Blue Origin flight.Great ride! Those 3.6 feet high and 2.4 feet wide windows have an amazing view!

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Blue Origin Crew Capsule 2.0 Test Flight


“New Shepard flew again for the seventh time on Dec. 12, 2017, from Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site. Known as Mission 7 (M7), the mission featured the next-generation booster and the first flight of Crew Capsule 2.0. Crew Capsule 2.0 features large windows, measuring 2.4 feet wide, 3.6 feet tall. M7 also included 12 commercial, research and education payloads onboard. Crew Capsule 2.0 reached an apogee of 322,405 feet AGL/326,075 feet MSL (98.27 kilometers AGL/99.39 kilometers MSL). The booster reached an apogee of 322,032 feet AGL/325,702 feet MSL (98.16 kilometers AGL/99.27 kilometers MSL” – Blue Origin


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