Rocket Lab Announces Electron SmallSat Launcher, First 30 Launches Booked
[Via Satellite 07-29-2014] Rocket Lab revealed plans to build a carbon-composite dedicated small satellite launch vehicle named Electron. Currently under construction in New Zealand, the company anticipates launching payloads of up to 100-kg to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for less than $5 million. Silicon Valley venture firm Khosla Ventures is the principal funder.
The Electron rocket design is for a length of 18-m, a height of 1-m and a weight of more than 10 tons. In 2009 Rocket Lab became the first private company to reach space using its Atea 1 suborbital sounding rocket. According to the company, there are already commitments for the first 30 launches of the Electron rocket. The first launch is scheduled for 2015.