ACS3 & others

Launch Overview

Liftoff Time
Q1 2024 (00:00 UTC)

Complex Overview

Launch Facility
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Launch Pad
Unknown Pad
Turnaround Time
a month

Who is Rocket Lab?

Rocket Lab is an American aerospace manufacturer with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary. The company develops lightweight, cost-effective commercial rocket launch services. The Electron Program was founded on the premise that small payloads such as CubeSats require dedicated small launch vehicles and flexibility not currently offered by traditional rocket systems. Its rocket, the Electron, is a light-weight rocket and is now operating commercially. Electron currently launches from only Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand however they are currently looking into developing a facility in the US.

What Is Electron?

Electron is a two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle (with an optional third stage) developed by the American aerospace company Rocket Lab. Electron is a small-lift launch vehicle designed to launch small satellites and cubesats to sun-synchronous orbit and low earth orbit. The Electron is the first orbital class rocket to use electric-pump-fed engines, powered by the 9 Rutherford engines on the first stage.

Engines

Rutherford

The Rutherford is a small (25cm Dia. 35kg) liquid propellant rocket engine designed by aerospace company Rocket Lab. Ten Rutherford engines are used on Rocket Labs Electron rocket, nine for the first stage, and one vacuum-optimized version for the second stage. Its fueled by refined kerosene (RP-1) mixed with liquid oxygen(LOX).

Rutherford Vacuum

The Rutherford Vacuum-optimized is a small liquid propellant rocket engine with a longer nozzle then the sea-level version, designed by aerospace company Rocket Lab. Ten Rutherford (sea-level engines are used on Rocket Labs Electron rocket, nine for the first stage, and one vacuum-optimized version for the second stage. Its fueled by refined kerosene (RP-1) mixed with liquid oxygen(LOX).

Mission Overviw

This rideshare flight carries several payloads, including NASA's Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3). ACS3 is a technology demonstration mission tasked with deploying a composite boom solar sail.

Mission Type
Dedicated Rideshare
Orbit
LEO

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