Author Topic: NEW ZEALANDS ROCKET PROGRAM !  (Read 1306 times)

Offline The Matrix Traveller

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« on: August 02, 2014, 03:17:10 PM »
Check this Out !

That's Right New Zealand is in the Commercial Space Program !


Rocket Lab has invested heavily over the years in hybrid propulsion research.

The company’s key achievement in this field is Hybrid 90A – a new polymer based fuel with high density,
strength and stiffness.

It is a simple solution to the complex problem of hybrid fuel formulation.

The fuel composition is the end result of an extensive characterization and evaluation program,
culminating in the successful flight of the ?tea-1 sounding rocket.

Hybrid 90A is an alternative to HTPB that combines many of the desirable characteristic of HTPB
with some unique advantages.

Hybrid 90A incorporates scavengers into the base chemistry to eliminate foaming.

Very large quantities can be cast without voids, bubbles or exothermic reactions.

With very high strength, stiffness and hardness (Shore 65D), the fuel is ideal for complex
internal grain configurations such as wagon wheel, pointed star, and dog bone layouts.

The manufacture of large and complex fuel grains is achievable with minimal equipment
and casting infrastructure.

The fuel also has a higher density than HTPB while maintaining similar regression rates.

Hybrid 90A can deliver a sea-level specific impulse of 220 seconds at 300psi chamber pressure.


Offline The Matrix Traveller

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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 04:11:37 PM »
Another New Zealander involved in Rocketry we should NOT forget, was William Hayward Pickering.

William Hayward Pickering ONZ KBE (24 December 1910 – 15 March 2004)
was a New Zealand born rocket scientist who headed Pasadena, California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
for 22 years, retiring in 1976.

He was a senior NASA luminary and pioneered the exploration of space.

Pickering was also a founding member of the United States National Academy of Engineering.

His group launched Explorer I on a Jupiter-C rocket from Cape Canaveral on 31 January 1958
less than four months after the Russians had launched Sputnik.(much to the surprise of the Americans).

In 1958 the lab's projects were transferred to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
and Pickering's team concentrated on NASA's unmanned space-flight program. JPL, under Pickering's direction
flew further Explorer 3 and Pioneer missions as well as the Ranger and Surveyor missions to the moon
and the several Mariner flybys of Venus and Mars.

Explorer III discovered the radiation field round the earth that is now known as the Van Allen radiation belt.

Explorer 1 orbited for 10 years and was the forerunner of a number of successful JPL earth and deep-space satellites.

William Hayward Pickering is not to be confused with William Henry Pickering, an astronomer from an earlier era.

At the time of his retirement as director, in 1976, the Voyager missions were about to launch on tours
of the outer planets and Viking 1 was on its way to land on Mars.

Pickering's main attributes, beyond his scholarly achievements, were his team organisational and project management skills.

Offline The Matrix Traveller

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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 07:46:08 PM »

Well worth watching these 2 Videos too ....

Offline The Matrix Traveller

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 10:20:49 PM »



Rocket Lab USA poised to change the space industry

July, 2014

US Aerospace company Rocket Lab is developing a world-first launch vehicle to deliver satellites into orbit cheaper and faster than ever before.

Los Angeles, California, July 29, 2014

Rocket Lab announced today its plan to revolutionize the global space industry with the creation of Electron, a lightweight, cost-effective rocket, making it easier for companies to launch small satellites into orbit.

Rocket Lab is building the world’s first carbon-composite launch vehicle at its Auckland, New Zealand facility. The development of Electron will reduce the price of delivering a satellite into orbit. At a cost of less than $5 million dollars, this represents a drastic cost reduction compared to existing dedicated launch services[1].

The lead-time for businesses to launch a satellite will also be reduced from years[2] down to weeks through vertical integration with Rocket Lab’s private launch facility. Rocket Lab has already garnered strong commercial demand with commitments for its first 30 launches.

Electron is 18m in length, 1m diameter and will weigh more than 10 tons. This will be the first vehicle of its class capable of delivering payloads up to 100kg into low Earth orbits (LEO).[3]

Peter Beck founded the company in 2007 with the vision of eliminating the commercial barriers to space. Until now, rockets have remained prohibitively large and expensive, despite the trend for satellites to become smaller, more capable and affordable. Rocket Lab will help to fulfill the deficit in launch systems by helping to break the cost barrier to commercial ventures and for the emerging satellite constellation markets.

“The innovation behind Electron will release the limitations on launching small satellites. Our vision at Rocket Lab is to make space commercially viable and more accessible than ever, doing what the Ford Model T did for consumer automobiles. This technology will really open space for business,” said Mr. Beck, CEO, Rocket Lab.

“Along with benefits for commercial enterprises, cheaper and faster space access has the potential to lead to more accurate weather prediction, global high speed Internet access, as well as real-time monitoring of the impacts of human development,” said Mr. Beck.

Rocket Lab’s principal funder is top-tier Silicon Valley venture firm, Khosla Ventures, which has a long track record of backing breakthrough technologies that revolutionize industries.

Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, says it is exciting to see to the technology and innovation coming out of Rocket Lab.

“We are thrilled to be investing in the next chapter of Rocket Lab’s development as they drive down the cost of launch vehicles to provide greater access to space,” said Mr. Khosla.

“The company’s technical innovations will truly transform the space industry.”

[1] The average price of a dedicated launch service is $133 million (USD). Source: Launces 2014: A Review of 2013 Launches and Payloads by The Tauri Group.

[2] Source: Work Commences on Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) Designs by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

[3] LEO is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 160 kilometres, with an orbital period of around 88 minutes, and 2,000 kilometres, with an orbital period of around 127 minutes.

Electron: Fast facts
?Lift off mass: 10,500kg
?Propellant mass: 9,200kg
?Propellants: Liquid oxygen and kerosene
?Length: 18m
?Diameter: 1m
?Top speed: 27,500kph
?Maximum engine thrust : 146,000 N (14.8 tonnes)
?Engine equivalent power: 530,000hp
?Nominal orbit: 500km circular sun synchronous
?Nominal payload: 110kg


About Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is an aerospace company founded in 2007 by New Zealander, Peter Beck. The company is focused on delivering innovative, high quality technologies to the space industry.

Rocket Lab was created to cater to the growing requirement within the international market for fast, low cost methods of delivering payloads to space. Since inception, the company has successfully developed a number of leading rocket-based systems, from sounding rockets through to new advanced propulsion technologies.

Rocket Lab is an American company with a subsidiary and head office in Auckland, New Zealand.

Rocket Lab was the first private company to reach space in the southern hemisphere in 2009 with its Atea 1 suborbital sounding rocket. Following this success the company won contracts with aerospace giants Lockheed Martin, DARPA and Aeroject Rocket-dyne.

NZ Govt. Funding Secured

January, 2014

The New Zealand Government today announced Rocket Lab among the recipients of Research and Development funding through the Callaghan Innovation Growth Grants program. The grants are aimed at encouraging high-tech NZ firms to carry out more Research and Development.  Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today congratulated each of the recipients, emphasising their proven performance in R&D.

Rocket Lab will use the funding to further the development of its orbital launch vehicle program which secured A-Round venture capital funding from Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures in late 2013. Significant progress has been made in reaching the first milestones of the new program thus far including recruitment of propulsion, vehicle design, avionics and GNC teams and test firing of the company’s in-house developed Rutherford engine, which will be the mainstay of the new vehicle’s propulsion system.

The funding will further enable Rocket Lab to accelerate development in an exciting new industry. Full details of the new vehicle are to be provided at a media event on 29th July, 2014.

Posted in Rocket Lab News | Comments (188)

Rutherford Engine Test Fire

December, 2013

We recently completed the first test fire of a new liquid rocket engine.

The new engine, named Rutherford after the famous New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford, is a Lox/Kerosene regenerative cooled pump fed engine that is intended to be the future workhorse for the our orbital launcher program.  The first test fires demonstrated stable performance and began the characterization phase of the engine program. A high rate of testing is underway with an average of one test fire every two days. USA, LLC
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