Aerospace startup Rocket Lab will try again this weekend to start its first commercial space mission, a flight named by the company "It & # 39; s Business Time." The small satellite launcher is going to send seven small probes to the low Earth's orbit on its electron rocket. If successful, the flight will officially launch commercial operations for a company that has so far only canceled two test flights.
Rocket Lab had difficulty getting "It & # 39; s Business Time" in the air. A company that launches from a private site in New Zealand has repeatedly tried to fly this particular mission, but had to give up after noticing some strange behavior with one of the rocket engine controllers. After implementing several changes in the project, Rocket Lab is ready to try again. The company has a start window that stretches from this evening, November 10 to November 19, and has the option to run every day between 22:00 ET and 2:00 ET.
This flight contains a handful of small Spire Global satellites, Tyvak Nano Satellite Systems, Fleet Space Technologies and the Irvine CubeSat STEM program, and some of these probes have the size of a shoe box. This is because the Rocket Lab's main goal is to launch small satellites. The company's vehicle, Electron, is about 56 feet tall and can hold 330 to almost 500 pounds at low orbits above Earth. This is ideal for satellite operators who focus on reducing their spacecraft, not the size of the school bus.
Until now, Rocket Lab has only reached orbit once. He conducted two test flights before this mission, both of which were in space. However, the first mission did not reach orbit due to a fault with communication equipment on earth. The second performed orbit and used four satellites. If this mission goes well, Rocket Lab can boast of having placed 11 probes in orbit.
And as soon as this flight ends, Rocket Lab has one more approaching. The company plans to launch a mission for NASA called ELENA XIX in December that will build 11 small research satellites in orbit. The company also claimed to have a packaged manifesto, and Rocket Lab general manager Peter Beck said the goal is to make 16 flights next year.
But first of all, time for business must finally fly. Rocket Lab plans to broadcast live stream after setting the start time. Follow company twitter for information on the mission and check again to see the mission live.