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Vector Considers Vandenberg to Establish Launch Operations

By | November 17, 2017
Vector Space Systems Vector-R

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

Nanosatellite launch company Vector announced it will explore an arrangement with Harris Corporation to establish commercial launch operations of the Vector-R launch vehicle at Harris Spaceport Systems on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The initial steps of the pathfinding operations at Space Launch Complex 8 feature a demonstration of a full-scale engineering development version of the Vector-R and the associated Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) that is a key element of Vector’s overall Concept of Operations (CONOPS).

Vector has demonstrated the enhanced efficiencies of a mobile TEL-based approach with its latest showcase of technical operations at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and recent flight test at Spaceport Camden in Georgia. These latest tests address requirements and issues specific to Space Launch Complex 8 and Vandenberg Air Force Base, while also refining timelines and transportation logistics, the company said.

“Harris’ site at Vandenberg Air Force Base has great potential to become a key part of our strategy for providing smallsat customers responsive and flexible dedicated access to orbit from multiple locations,” said John Garvey, Vector Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and co-founder. “Vandenberg has drastically changed in recent years, in large part because of SpaceX’s introduction of the Falcon 9. Having Vector explore the site early in the development cycle of our launch operations gives us a chance to better understand how we can leverage Vandenberg’s progress to further streamline launch processes for our class of small launcher.”