Rocket Lab completes its third successful launch in 2018


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Capitalism in space: Rocket Lab today (Sunday) successfully launched thirteen cubesats using its Electron rocket.

With this third launch, Rocket Lab now has more launches than Northrop Grumman (formerly Orbital ATK), a launch operation that has been around since the 1980s.

The leaders in the 2018 launch race remain unchanged:

35 China
20 SpaceX
13 Russia
10 Europe (Arianespace)
8 ULA

China still leads the U.S. 35 to 33 in the national rankings.

Share

One comment

  • mkent

    This is a big deal. Electron can place 225 kg into LEO for $6 million. About half a Pegasus worth for 1/7th the cost. Add in Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne — which can place 450 kg into LEO for $12 million — and Pegasus’s days are numbered. They might get one more NASA launch contract, but I suspect that will be it.

    Falcon, Electron, and LauncherOne continue the trend started with the EELVs of reducing the cost of spaceflight. The market in action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *