Vector Space Systems Launches Test Rocket Ahead of 2018 Orbital Deployment

spaceVector Space Systems has launched a subscale rocket that serves as a test platform to validate the upper stage engine of the company’s launch vehicle.

The microsatellite space launch company said Tuesday the suborbital launch of the P-20 rocket comes ahead of the scheduled 2018 orbital deployment of the Vector 1 launch vehicle.

Global imagery company Iceye also supplied its satellite computing and communications systems payload to Vector to launch aboard P-20 to validate the payload’s electrical and mechanical performance in a launch environment.

Jim Cantrell, Vector CEO and co-founder, said the first vehicle launch works to demonstrate the company’s technology maturity and commitment to support space startup customers.

“With our plans to launch up to 30 satellites over the next five years, we expect to work closely with Vector Space Systems as a key partner in launching and refreshing our constellation for years to come,” said Iceye CEO Rafal Modrzewski.

P-20, which was developed by Garvey Spacecraft Corp. and acquired by Vector, launched Saturday during a test flight held in California.

You may also be interested in...

U.S. Air Force

Air Force Releases RFI for Advanced Reentry Vehicle Technology

The U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons center has launched a market research for advanced planning efforts related to intercontinental ballistic missile and sought input from potential sources of technologies for futute reentry vehicles, including radiation hardened electronics. 

Hermeus

Hermeus Expands Footprint in Atlanta With New Aircraft Assembly Factory

American startup Hermeus will turn a 110,000 square-foot facility in Atlanta into an aircraft assembly factory that will accomodate structures testing and light manufacturing operations and will double as the company's headquarters for its hundreds of employees.

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit’s New LauncherOne Mission to Send DOD, International Satellites to Space in June

Virgin Orbit announced on Thursday that its LauncherOne rocket is fully assembled and will soon be shipped to Mojave Air and Space Port in California for pre-launch operations. The rocket’s upcoming mission is called Tubular Bells, Part One, which will launch CubeSat satellites for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Royal Netherlands Air Force, as well as two optical satellites for SatRevolution. The launch is scheduled for June of this year.