Tag Archives: Vector

Vector live streaming test launch

Capialism in space: If you want to watch today’s test launch by Vector, the company is live streaming the event.

As I post, the rocket is vertical in a small clearing surrounded by woods, with a small group of workers at its base.

Update: One minute to launch.

Update: Launch at 9:25 am. The rocket cleared the tower perfectly. We will have to wait for updates from the company to see how things went beyond that.

Share

Vector obtains $21 million in funding

Capitalism in space: The smallsat rocket company Vector has obtained $21 million in new funding, making it possible for it to accelerate its test rocket schedule.

With this most recent round of funding, Vector will accelerate the company’s upcoming flight test series and launch orbital customer missions in early 2018. Vector’s next launch is planned for Summer 2017, making it the first launch ever from the historic Spaceport Camden in Georgia, where NASA tested rocket engines in the 1960s. In addition to flight test launch activities, Vector plans to develop its first GalacticSky satellites and break ground on a world-class rocket factory in Pima County, Arizona.

It seems that the smallsat market is going to get very crowded in the next few years. As much as I am in favor of this, we must also recognize that it is likely that the market will not be able to support all the companies now pushing to grab that business. Some are going to fail, though I have no idea at this point which companies that will be.

Not that this is a bad thing. Competition requires many companies. It also requires failure, balanced with much success.

Share

Vector suborbital rocket test scrubbed

A suborbital test flight of Vector’s orbital rocket was scrubbed on April 6 when a sensor aborted the launch.

The next test flight is scheduled for May 3, after a test April 6 at the company’s test site near the Mohave Desert was scrubbed when a sensor caused an automatic abort, Cantrell said.

Engineers quickly determined the rocket was functional but the company decided not to launch after high winds kicked up. But the rocket is fine, he said, adding that failures are part of the testing process. “We blew a lot of stuff up, trust me,” he said.

The article is more focused on describing in detail the company’s overall status, its fund-raising effort, its future plans, its present operation. This tidbit about the test launch was buried in it. That the flight didn’t fly is not a bad mark on the company, at this point. However, they are under pressure to fly as soon as possible in order to demonstrate success, and delays work against them.

Share

Vector Space Systems to open Tucson facility

The competition heats up: Vector Space Systems has decided to build a rocket manufacturing facility in Tucson.

The Tucson-based company is expected to create 200 jobs locally within three years of beginning operations, at an average annual salary of $70,000. It could employ as many as 500 people within five years as production ramps up, said its co-founder and CEO, Jim Cantrell. Vector plans to invest roughly $19 million during the first three years, and possibly as much as $50 million over the next 15 years, according to Pima County officials. The total direct economic impact of the facility could be $290 million over five years, says an analysis by Phoenix-based Applied Economics completed for Sun Corridor Inc., the local economic-development agency. The company plans to build 36,000 square feet of office space and another 40,000 square feet for manufacturing south of Tucson International Airport.

The company already has several million in smallsat launch contracts, plus options for $160 million more once they begin producing rockets.

Share

New smallsat rocket company obtains financing

The competition heats up: A new rocket company, Vector Space Systems, has announced that it has obtained seed money to begin the development of a new rocket for launch very small satellites.

Vector is designed to provide dedicated launches of very small spacecraft. The vehicle is capable of placing satellites weighing up to 45 kilograms into a basic low Earth orbit, and 25 kilograms into a standard sun synchronous orbit. Those launches will cost $2–3 million each, with the higher price reserved for “first class” launches reserved as little as three months in advance.

This rocket would compete with Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne and Rocket Lab’s Electron for the smallsat and cubesat business.

Share