Rocket Lab enters the business of satellite construction



Rocket Lab says its turnkey service will help customers get into space faster.

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Rocket Lab says its turnkey service will help customers get into space faster.

Rocket Lab is expanding from placing satellites in space to build them.

The company is offering to manufacture what is really the framework of a satellite, with the propulsion system necessary to place the spacecraft in space and the equipment to manage communications.

Then, customers can place their own electronic components inside the housing or, if they need more space, attach their payload.

Rocket Lab is marketing its Photon satellites as a "turnkey" option for customers who do not have the time or experience to build their own satellite vehicles.

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The photon is a modified version of the final "initial stage" of your electronic rocket.

That placement stage would normally place one or more small satellites in space, before separating after the final deployment and then falling back into the atmosphere to burn.

The Proton spacecraft from Rocket Lab is a modified version of a rocket scenario that is used to place satellites in space.

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The Proton spacecraft from Rocket Lab is a modified version of a rocket scenario that is used to place satellites in space.

But acting as the ship for a satellite, it would remain in space for up to five years.

"Small satellite operators want to focus on providing data or services from space, but building satellite hardware is a major barrier to achieving this," said Chief Executive Peter Beck.

"The time, resources and experience needed to build hardware can make small satellite operators move away from their main purpose, delaying their path to orbit and revenue."

Photon would allow customers to focus on "their payload and mission," he said. "We take care of the rest."

The service could reduce the time of customers ordering a satellite to put it in space for four months, he said.

Spokeswoman Morgan Bailey said some components for the Photon vehicles would come from New Zealand "but most of Photon's manufacturing will take place at the Rocket Lab headquarters in Huntington Beach" in the United States.

Rocket expects to launch its first Photon later this year to showcase its capabilities, with commercial launches next year.


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