Private rocket company "Rocket Lab" succeeded in launch test of small and light rocket which output engine with 3D printer
The space venture's contractor who undertakes the launch of a small satellite "Rocket Lab(Rocket laboratory)"Made the first rocket launch test successful in New Zealand.
Rocket lab is a private company based in New York, a space development venture that manufactures small rockets and undertakes launch of satellites and others. In terms of a private rocket launch company, it is the same as SpaceX led by CEO Earlon Mask, but SpaceX undertakes the task of delivering supplies to the International Space Station from NASA and ultimately carries out the mission of sending mankind to Mars In order to use a huge rocket "Falcon" with a total length of about 70 meters, Rocket Lab will launch small satellites using a relatively small rocket "Electron" with a total length of 17 meters and a diameter of 1.2 meters There is a big difference
The first rocket in the rocket lab is called the code name "It's A Test" and it is made by outputting the parts which will become the main component of the engine with our proprietary 3D printer. The maximum loading amount of goods loaded in the rocket is 225 kg, but in normal operation we carry heavy items weighing 150 kg or less to 500 km over the sky. Furthermore, unlike Falcon, reuse is not considered and it is disposable. According to the rocket laboratory, the launch cost is 5 million dollars (about 560 million yen) at a time because it can greatly reduce the fuel consumption necessary for launch thanks to the compact and ultra lightweight fuselage And that.
Demand for launching box-shaped small satellites for applications such as meteorological observation is very strong and it is said that launching satellites at super-discount prices on behalf of government agencies and private enterprises seeking to use such satellites, With the business model of laboratory, the launch cost of the smallest satellite is a cheap price of $ 77,000 (about 8.6 million yen).
Rocket laboratories announced that it will conduct rocket launch trials three times within 2017, and New Zealand was selected as the launch site. The reason why New Zealand was chosen is that it is optimal for rocket transport with less traffic congestion and for satellite launch from north to south as it is located in the southern hemisphere near Antarctica, the New Zealand government launched a rocket In addition to being cooperative with, it seems that Peter Beck, the rocket lab, is from New Zealand.
And rocket lab finally launched the first rocket launch test and announced the state of the test on Twitter.
The launch site is the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand North Island.
The state of setting of rocket launch pad looks like this.
The rocket is ready in mid-May 2017. 10 days ofLaunch WindowWas set, but it was decided to be launched on May 25, 2017 on the fourth day.
And the time of the launch came at last.
The state of the launch test for the first time at Rocket Lab can be checked with the following movie.
White smoke rises ......
The fire was lit.
The rocket slowly rises above the sky while raising a violent flame.
The first launch test was successful.
This is the movie that captured the rocket that can be launched from a distance.
Although it was a rocket lab that succeeded in launching the first rocket, the experiment machine "It's A Test" had not loaded any luggage. Rocket lab is planning to launch two launch tests of rocket "electron" later on, and plans to start commercial launch in the second half of 2017.