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Vector Space Systems Awarded $60 Million Launch Contract

By Caleb Henry | October 19, 2016
      Vector Space Systems Vector-R

      Vector Space Systems’ Vector-R rocket. Photo: Vector

      [Via Satellite 10-19-2016] Microsatellite launch company Vector Space Systems has finalized an agreement with York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in small- and medium-class spacecraft, to conduct six satellite launches from 2019 through 2022 with the option for 14 additional launches. The first launch through the agreement is also to be the inaugural launch of the Vector-H vehicle, a rocket designed to launch 100 kg into orbit.

      York Space Systems plans to use the launches to place standardized S-Class satellite platforms into orbit for commercial and government customers. The company’s satellites will also employ Vector’s electric upper stage as the final insertion stage of the launch vehicle to place the satellites into orbital altitudes up to 1000 km with zero loss of launch throw mass capability.

      York Space Systems currently focuses on small and medium spacecraft supporting a wide range of missions, including visible, infrared, multispectral and radar Earth Observation (EO), asset tracking, weather, communications, signals intelligence, and robotic servicing. The company claims its S-Class platform reduces the cost of manufacture by an order of magnitude. The platform’s first flight qualification is scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.