Rocket Lab announced launch windows for their upcoming back-to-back launches for BlackSky. The missions will both launch from LC-1, one of their launch facilities in New Zealand.
The United States and New Zealand-based smallsat launcher aims to make cheap and reliable rockets for the growing smallsat market. The company also wants to work on the capability to launch rockets in quick succession; this is why they built a second launch complex in New Zealand.
This mission will be even more challenging, launching two rockets from the same site just a few weeks between each other. We have only seen this sort of timeline from SpaceX during their 2020 push to finish the first shell of Starlink satellites. Rocket Lab hopes to match this with its Electron rocket.
“The speed to space Electron provides our customers is unmatched in the dedicated small launch industry, and we’re thrilled to be delivering a launch service that provides assurance for BlackSky to scale their constellation and services with confidence.”Peter Beck, Rocket Lab CEO
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Each mission will carry two next-generation satellites for BlackSky, a geospatial data company that operates a fleet of smallsats. BlackSky purchased the launches through Spaceflight Inc., an aerospace company that specializes in selling payload space on rideshare missions.
Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket will launch both of these missions. The Electron, which stands at 18 meters tall, can carry up to 300 kg to low Earth orbit. If the timelines hold, this will become the fastest turnaround for the company to date.
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