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Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket

Posted by: box - Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:09 am
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Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket 
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Space Walker
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Post Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket   Posted on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:09 am
http://www.rocketlabusa.com

They say their launch costs will be round 4.9 million usd, the payload is round 110 kg.

There is another company in Canada trying to do the same.

What do you guys think?


It seems they are betting on that SpaceX won't be able to deliver with their reusable rockets and lover their launch costs to round 7 or so million /using wiki/.

I mean these companies hope to keep overall launch costs low so smaller businesses can afford to do stuff in orbit, but if SpaceX makes it, wouldn't these small launchers become uncompetitive? Assuming there is or will be market for small satellite launches.

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Post Re: Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket   Posted on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:48 am
The other company starting up in Canada is Open Space Orbital. They are developing a launcher to deliver 50 kg or so to orbit.

Both

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Post Re: Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket   Posted on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:03 pm
That is what all these small launcher start ups are pinning their biz plans on, that either the smallsat market will get so big that it will exceed the manifest space on bigger launchers and/or they won't want to mess with small payloads like these (SpaceX did discontinue the F-1 for a reason).


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Post Re: Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket   Posted on: Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:44 pm
But if the market did increase in size wouldn't the large launchers be able to handle the demand more easily and economically?

I don't see how small launchers can have long term viability. Even if you get to be main payload on a launcher for 5 million, if SpaceX figures out reusable first and second stages, or the Skylon is actually built, it would be a lot cheaper for people to simply team up and buy a service together if they are going to similar enough orbits.

If you add to the picture small and cheap electric propulsion for small satellites or refueling options in orbit, you won't even need to worry about what orbit the main payload is heading for. You could deploy your solar sails, or start up your solar electric engines, and move to whereever you wan't to be.

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Post Re: Small Launchers like Rocketlab's Electron rocket   Posted on: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:12 am
Supposedly the new crop of small launchers are promising much lower costs than rides on the big boys. Plus there are lots of places people want to put things that either they can't go (retrograde) or would have to wait an unacceptable length of time for a ride.

Smallsats with their own propulsion:
Lots of privately (personally) operated spacecraft zipping around already pretty crowded NES changing orbits willy-nilly... cring-worthy.

Smallsats are fairly benign if they are confined to very low orbits where atmospheric drag will haul them down quickly. Higher than that is just asking for trouble.


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