Electron

Active Electron

Rocket Lab Ltd (RL)

May 25, 2017

Description

Electron is a two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle (with an optional third stage) developed by the American aerospace company Rocket Lab. Electron is a small-lift launch vehicle designed to launch small satellites and cubesats to sun-synchronous orbit and low earth orbit. The Electron is the first orbital class rocket to use electric-pump-fed engines, powered by the 9 Rutherford engines on the first stage.

Specifications
  • Minimum Stage
    2
  • Max Stage
    3
  • Length
    17.0 m
  • Diameter
    1.2 m
  • Fairing Diameter
  • Launch Mass
    12 T
  • Thrust
    162 kN
Family
  • Name
    Electron
  • Family
    Electron
  • Variant
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Electron
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $6,000,000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    225 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity
    225 kg

Rocket Lab Ltd

Commercial
CEO: Peter Beck
RL 2006

Rocket Lab is an American aerospace manufacturer with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary. The company develops lightweight, cost-effective commercial rocket launch services. The Electron Program was founded on the premise that small payloads such as CubeSats require dedicated small launch vehicles and flexibility not currently offered by traditional rocket systems. Its rocket, the Electron, is a light-weight rocket and is now operating commercially. Electron currently launches from only Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand however they are currently looking into developing a facility in the US.

Upcoming Spaceflights


Electron | VCLS ELaNa XXXII

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
March 26, 2020, midnight
Status: TBD
Unknown Mission

There are no mission or payload details available for this launch.


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Electron | STP-27RM

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Wallops Island, Virginia, USA
April 1, 2020, midnight
Status: TBD
Unknown Mission

There are no mission or payload details available for this launch.


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Electron | MX-1E Lunar Scout

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
July 1, 2020, midnight
Status: TBD
Mission: Robotic Exploration

Moon Express will launch a lander to the moon in an effort to win the Google Lunar XPrize.

Lunar Orbit
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Electron | CAPSTONE

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Wallops Island, Virginia, USA
Jan. 1, 2021, midnight
Status: TBD
Mission: Planetary Science

CAPSTONE (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) is a 12-U cubesat mission to test operations in near rectiliniar halo orbit around the Moon, which is to be used for the Lunar Gateway space station. Mission will verify the near rectilinear halo orbit characteristics, spacecraft-to-spacecraft navigation services in that orbit, and provide valuable experience of small sat launch to the Moon.


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Electron | Archinaut One

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Jan. 1, 2022, midnight
Status: TBD
Mission: Unknown

Archinaut One is a mission to demonstrate the ability of small spacecraft to manufacture and assemble spacecraft components in low-Earth orbit. Once it’s positioned in low-Earth orbit, the spacecraft will 3D-print two beams that extend 32 feet (10 meters) out from each side of the spacecraft. As manufacturing progresses, each beam will unfurl two solar arrays that generate as much as five times more power than traditional solar panels on spacecraft of similar size.


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Electron | NROL-151 (Birds of a Feather)

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Jan. 31, 2020, 2:56 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Government/Top Secret

This is a dedicated launch for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The contract was awarded under Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) program.

Low Earth Orbit
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Electron | Running Out Of Fingers

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Dec. 6, 2019, 8:18 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Dedicated Rideshare

This is the Rocket Lab's 10th flight. It carries several small satellites for international commercial customers. This is also the first flight to feature an upgraded first stage of the Electron rocket, which is now equipped with new hardware and sensors. After completing its mission, Electron's first stage will perform a guided atmospheric re-entry, gathering data necessary for the development of Rocket Lab's reusability program.

Low Earth Orbit
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Electron | As The Crow Flies

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Oct. 17, 2019, 1:22 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Earth Science

Encapsulated in Electron's fairing will be a single spacecraft for Astro Digital, a California-based satellite manufacturer and operator. The Landmapper-BC remote sensing satellite features a broad coverage multispectral imaging system with a resolution of 22 meters per pixel. Eventually, Astro Digital plans to extend the Landmapper-BC constellation to capture daily, multispectral imagery of the world’s arable land. The mission is named 'As The Crow Flies' in a nod to Astro Digital's Corvus Platform, which provides flexible and cost-effective solutions across a wide range of applications and mission profiles on bus variants ranging from 6U and 16U CubeSats to ESPA Class. Corvus is also a widely-distributed genus of birds which includes crows.

Low Earth Orbit
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Electron | Look Ma, No Hands

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Aug. 19, 2019, 12:12 p.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Dedicated Rideshare

Mission carries a satellite for the future UNSEENLABS maritime tracking constellation, a BlackSky Global-4 Earth observation satellite, and two experimental satellites for United States Air Force Space Command.

Low Earth Orbit
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Electron | Make It Rain

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
June 29, 2019, 4:30 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Dedicated Rideshare

Rideshare mission for Spaceflight. Electron will launch seven spacecraft, including a commercial Earth-observing microsatellite for BlackSky, two CubeSats for U.S. Special Operations Command, a pair of tiny prototype data relay nodes for Swarm Technologies, a student-built payload from Australia called ACRUX-1, and a satellite whose identity and owner remain a secret. The mission is named "Make it Rain" in a nod to the high volume of rainfall in Seattle, where Spaceflight is headquartered, as well in New Zealand where Launch Complex 1 is located.

Low Earth Orbit
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Electron | STP-27RD (That's a Funny Looking Cactus)

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
May 5, 2019, 6 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Dedicated Rideshare

The mission has been procured by the DoD Space Test Program in partnership with Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) as part of its Rapid Agile Launch Initiative .The payload consists of three satellites, SPARC-1, Falcon ODE and Harbinger, that will deployed in a precise sequence. The Space Plug and Play Architecture Research CubeSat-1 (SPARC-1) mission, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), is a joint Swedish-United States experiment to explore technology developments in avionics miniaturization, software defined radio systems, and space situational awareness (SSA). The Falcon Orbital Debris Experiment (Falcon ODE), sponsored by the United States Air Force Academy, will evaluate ground-based tracking of space objects. Harbinger, a commercial small satellite built by York Space Systems and sponsored by the U.S Army, will demonstrate the ability of an experimental commercial system to meet DoD space capability requirements.

Low Earth Orbit
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Electron | DARPA R3D2 (Two Thumbs Up)

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
March 28, 2019, 11:27 p.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Communications

Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) is a mission for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It will test a prototype reflect array antenna which is intended to improve radio communications in small spacecraft.

Low Earth Orbit #R3D2
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Electron | VCLS ELaNa XIX (This One's For Pickering)

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Dec. 16, 2018, 6:33 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Dedicated Rideshare

NASA's signed a Venture Class Launch Services contract with Rocket Lab to launch 10 cubesats as a part of CubeSat Launch Initiative Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program.

Low Earth Orbit #ELaNa19
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Electron | It's Business Time

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Nov. 11, 2018, 3:50 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Dedicated Rideshare

Electron's first commercial launch will feature two Lemur-2 cubesats for Spire Global, a single cubesat for GeoOptics, a NABEO drag sail demonstrator for High Performance Space Structure Systems, an IRVINE01 cubesat from the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program, and two Proxima cubesats from Fleet Space Technologies.

Low Earth Orbit #ItsBusinessTime
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Electron | Still Testing

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Jan. 21, 2018, 1:43 a.m.
Status: Success
Mission: Test Flight

The second test flight of the Electron small satellite launch vehicle. It is also the first Electron flight to carry commercial payload. It includes a Dove cubesat for company Planet intended for Earth observation. And also two Lemur-2 cubesats for company Spire which carry payloads for meteorology and ship traffic tracking.

Low Earth Orbit #StillTesting
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Electron | It's a Test

Rocket Lab Ltd | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
May 25, 2017, 4:20 a.m.
Status: Failure
Mission: Test Flight

This is the first test flight of the Electron rocket. Built and operated by Rocket Lab, Electron is meant to offer low-price launches for the small-sat market.

Low Earth Orbit #ItsaTest
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Soyuz 2.1A Fregat-M
Success
5 days, 1 hour ago
Meridian-M No.19L
43/3 (43L) - Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

Meridian is a series of communications satellite for military and civilian use.


Long March 2D
Success
5 days, 12 hours ago
XJS-C, XJS-D, XJS-E, XJS-F
Launch Complex 3 ( LC-3 ) ( LA-1 ) - Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

These are four experimental satellites which will be used mainly to test some Earth observation technologies.


Ariane 5 ECA+
Success
6 days, 11 hours ago
JCSAT-17 & GEO-KOMPSAT-2B
Ariane Launch Area 3 - Kourou, French Guiana

JCSAT-17 is a Japanese communication satellite of SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. Its payloads incorporate S-band, C-band and Ku-band transponders, w...


Falcon 9 Block 5
Success
1 week ago
Starlink 4
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of 60 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Antares 230+
Success
1 week, 2 days ago
Cygnus CRS NG-13 (S.S. Robert H. Lawrence.)
Launch Area 0 A - Wallops Island, Virginia, USA

This is the 14th planned flight of the Orbital ATK's uncrewed resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its 13th flight to the International Space Station und...