Rocket Lab launches “two-in-one” satellite for deep space missions.
Earlier this week, Rocket Lab has successfully launched the customer’s satellite into orbit, restoring the service successfully. The team had also successfully put its own Photon satellite into orbit as a part of the same flight.
Rocket Lab has already performed missions for NASA, the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the US Air Force by putting satellites into the orbits. The company did a launch mission for Capella Space last Sunday. After a clean launch and stage separation, a 10 kg heavy satellite was put into orbit.
To send a secondary payload into orbit, the company devised a new procedure soon after. This procedure involves the Kick Stage of the Electron rocket – a powerful extra stage built into the launch vehicle that uses a cold air reaction control system. This will help in launching satellites into very precise orbits.
The change Kick Stage to a Photon satellite was nicely monitored and instructed. Launch of small satellites and payloads into medium orbit, the geostationary orbit, and lunar orbits are some of the plans from the end of the company.
The Photon satellite will be used in low earth orbit missions to other planetary missions. Navigation, communication, and power support for smaller satellites, as well as functioning as a full-featured spacecraft with its own propulsion system for orbital maneuvers, and S-band telemetry up to 512kbps are some of the functions it can perform.
The launch of the first Photon mission marked a major turning point for space users-launching and operating space missions are now easier than ever. – Peter Beck, CEO
The device launched into space by Rocket Lab is called First Light. Thus the Photon satellite is a two-in-one spacecraft, that uses the customer satellite as a Kick Stage, and then becoming its own small satellite.