Space Launch Startup Rocket Lab Is Building Satellites Now, Too | 4/9/2019 | Mike Wall
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Rocket Lab isn't content to just build launch vehicles anymore.

The California-based startup, which lofts small spacecraft to orbit with a rocket called Electron, just unveiled an in-house satellite platform designed to host customer payloads.

Idea - Line - Photon - Spaceflight - Services

The idea behind this satellite line, known as Photon, is to provide end-to-end spaceflight services, allowing customers to concentrate on developing their payloads and generating revenue, Rocket Lab representatives said. The project was unveiled Monday (April 8) at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"Small-satellite operators want to focus on providing data or services from space, but building satellite hardware is a significant barrier to achieving this," Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said in a statement.

Solution - Missions - Rocket - Lab - Space

"As the turnkey solution for complete small-satellite missions, Rocket Lab brings space within easy reach," Beck added. "We enable our customers to focus on their payload and mission. We look after the rest."

Photon fits well with Rocket Lab's core mission, which involves greatly increasing access to space. Indeed, the satellite program was part of Rocket Lab's vision from the very beginning, Beck said.

Part - Vision - Centers - Meters - Electron

The other part of that vision centers on the 57-foot-tall (17 meters) Electron, a two-stage, expendable rocket that can loft about 500 lbs. (227 kilograms) to orbit on each $5 million liftoff.

Electron has flown four satellite-lofting missions...
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