Apr 5, 2018 | By Thomas

Following a successful January “Still Testing” launch, US orbital launch provider Rocket Lab has confirmed it will open a 14-day launch window this month to conduct the company’s first fully commercial launch. The mission, named ‘It’s Business Time’, includes manifested payloads for Spire Global and GeoOptics Inc., built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.

The 14-day ‘It’s Business Time’ launch window will open on Friday April 20, 2018 NZT. During this time a four-hour launch window will open daily from 12:30 p.m. NZT (00:30 UTC). ‘It’s Business Time’ will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Licensed to launch every 72 hours, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 is the world’s only private orbital launch facility.

This mission follows just three months after Rocket Lab’s January 21, 2018 launch “Still Testing”, which successfully deployed an Earth-imaging satellite for Planet and circularized the orbit of two weather and AIS ship tracking satellites for Spire Global using Rocket Lab’s in-house designed and built kick stage.

“‘It’s Business Time’ represents the shift to responsive space. We always set out to create a vehicle and launch site that could offer the world’s most frequent launch capability and we’re achieving that in record time,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck.

All images credit: Rocket Lab

To meet a burgeoning 2018/19 launch manifest, Rocket Lab has rapidly scaled production of the Electron launch vehicle across its three-acre headquarters and production facility in Huntington Beach, California. The primary components for the nine Rutherford engines in the Electron booster can be 3D printed. The company will produce 100 3D printed Rutherford engines this year to support a monthly launch cadence by the end of 2018.

 

 

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