Vector 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.