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Rocket Lab reveals it also launched its own satellite on August 30th

Capitalism in space: Rocket Lab today revealed that along with placing a customer’s commercial radar satellite into orbit on August 30th, it also launched the prototype of its own satellite during the Electron rocket launch.

The company calls its satellites Photons, but rather than number them it will give each their own name. This particular satellite has been dubbed “First Light.”

The satellite is primarily a technology demonstrator, a way to test Photon’s systems in orbit and show customers what the spacecraft is capable of. First Light will stay up for the next five or six years, if all goes according to plan, Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said during a teleconference with reporters today (Sept. 3).

Photon should be attractive to a variety of customers, allowing them to focus on their sensors and other instruments without having to worry about building and operating an entire spacecraft, Rocket Lab representatives have said.

The goal is to offer this smallsat as a platform to those who wish to launch an instrument into space but don’t want to spend the money building the satellite itself. The company also intends to use a Photon satellite for a science mission to Venus in 2023.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3 comments

  • Richard M

    There has been a lot of good news in Capitalism in Space this week, but in some ways, this story is the most heartwarming of all. Hats off to Peter Beck for taking a gamble on this. I hope we shall see many more such gambles.

  • Jollster

    Agree. This is a great example of seeing an opportunity arise that compliments their current business. This gives a potential customer a further reason to choose them, rather than another upcoming assortment of smallsat launchers. Value adding will improve longevity.

  • Matthew

    Really great idea good way to make some cash. Just have the frame and the pulg and play instruments. I wonder if they would sell me one with cameras so I could look at my backyard from space. I’d be able to photograph the rest of the world too. Would they sell it to me if I had the money as a Private citizen? Soon it might be so. Could I change the orbit from my smartphone to be at a certain place at a certain time. Perhaps in the app you need to schedule it so many days out for that orbit opportunity. See your level of fuel with a battery icon. If I had the money and money was no issue why not.

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