. 24/7 Space News .
Rocket Lab prepares to launch historic CubeSat mission for NASA
by Staff Writers
Huntington Beach CA (SPX) Dec 06, 2018

Rocket Lab's launch complex on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula.

US small satellite launch company Rocket Lab is gearing up for the company's third orbital launch of the year, the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa)-19 mission for NASA. The launch is a significant moment for the small satellite industry, as it's the first time NASA CubeSats will enjoy a dedicated ride to orbit on a commercial launch vehicle, thanks to NASA's forward-leaning Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) initiative. VCLS is managed by NASA's Launch Services Program headquartered at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A nine-day launch window for the ELaNa-19 mission will open between 13 - 21 December 2018, UTC. Within this window, lift-off is scheduled between 04:00 and 08:00 UTC from Rocket Lab's private orbital launch site, Launch Complex 1, on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula.

The mission will see Rocket Lab's Electron vehicle loft multiple CubeSats to low Earth orbit for NASA. Electron will carry approximately 172 pounds (78 kg) of payload, which will be deployed to a 500km circular orbit at an 85-degree inclination by Rocket Lab's kick stage.

"It is an honor and privilege to launch NASA payloads on Electron, and to be the first small satellite launcher to fly under a NASA Venture Class Launch Services contract," said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. "Reaching orbit twice already this year has made 2018 a banner year for Rocket Lab. Capping it off with our first launch for NASA is a tremendous way to celebrate the new era of improved access to orbit for small satellites."

Until now, launch opportunities for small satellites have mostly been limited to rideshare-type arrangements, flying only when space is available on large launch vehicles. As NASA's first VCLS mission to fly, the ELaNa-19 mission on Electron represents a new approach to small satellite launch.

VCLS contracts constitute the smallest class of launch services used by NASA and have been created to foster commercial launch services dedicated to transporting smaller payloads to orbit. The VCLS contract is a direct response from NASA to the small satellite industry's changing needs for rapid and repeatable access to orbit.

"The NASA Venture Class Launch Service contract was designed from the ground up to be an innovative way for NASA to work and encourage new launch companies to come to the market and enable a future class of rockets for the growing small satellite market. Matching ELaNa-19 with the Electron rocket gives these advanced scientific and educational satellites first-class tickets to space while providing valuable insight for potential NASA missions in the future," said Justin Treptow NASA ELaNa-19 Mission Manager.

Many of the 10 ELaNa-19 CubeSats manifested on the mission are receiving their access to space through a NASA initiative called the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). CSLI enables the launch of CubeSat projects designed, built and operated by students, teachers and faculty, as well as, NASA Centers and programs, and nonprofit organizations.

The program recognizes that CubeSats are playing an increasingly significant role in exploration, technology demonstration, scientific research and educational investigations. These small satellites provide a low-cost platform for both research and technology applications, including planetary space exploration; Earth observation; Earth and space science; and developing precursor science instruments like laser communications, satellite-to-satellite communications and autonomous movement capabilities.

While the mission itself is called ELaNa-19, Rocket Lab also names each Electron launch vehicle individually. Previous Rocket Lab designations 'It's a Test', 'Still Testing' and 'It's Business Time' doubled as both mission and vehicle names. For the ELaNa-19 mission, the Electron launch vehicle is named 'This One's For Pickering' in honor of NZ-born scientist and former Director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Sir William Pickering. For 22 years, Sir William headed JPL and led the team that developed the first US satellite, Explorer I, launched in 1958.

Live coverage of the ELaNa-19 launch will be available on Rocket Lab's website at YouTube channel. For real-time updates on launch day, follow Rocket Lab on Twitter @RocketLab

Related Links
Rocket Lab
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Focus on Vega developments
Paris (ESA) Nov 26, 2018
Vega is proving its reliability. Based on this heritage, ESA and European industry are building new elements that will increase Vega's performance, capabilities and flexibility from mid-2019. A proof of concept flight on Vega of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service is planned for mid-2019. It offers more low cost ride-share launch opportunities into low Earth orbit for small satellites below 500 kg, from CubeSats to microsats and minisats, technology demonstrators to mega-constellations. Th ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Space makes you a different person reflects Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev

Soyuz arrives at ISS on first manned mission since October failure

First manned space mission since Soyuz failure launched

Ascent Trajectories and Gravity Turns

Moldy mouse food postpones SpaceX launch

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches 64 satellites into space

Arianespace Orbits GSAT-11 and Geo-Kompsat-2A for India and South Korea

SpaceX launches cargo, but fails to land rocket

Over Five Months Without Word From Opportunity

Life at home on Mars in a Big Sandbox

Safely on Mars, InSight unfolds its arrays and snaps some pics

SpaceBok robotic hopper being tested at ESA's Mars Yard

Evolving Chinese Space Ecosystem To Foster Innovative Environment

China sends 5 satellites into orbit via single rocket

China releases smart solution for verifying reliability of space equipment components

China unveils new 'Heavenly Palace' space station as ISS days numbered

Fleet Space Technologies' Centauri launched aboard SpaceX Falcon 9

Roscosmos Targeted by Info Attack to Hamper Revival of Space Industry in Russia

SAS Signs Distribution Agreement with GlobalSat Group

SpaceX launches pioneering UK maritime communications satellite

A big step toward the practical application of 3D holography with powerful computers

Millennium Space Systems Completes Successful ALTAIR Pathfinder Mission

GEDI scientists share space laser excitement

The countries that have the most junk in Space

Telescopes Reveal More Than 100 Exoplanets

Radio Search for Artificial Emissions from 'Oumuamua

Oxygen could have been available to life as early as 3.5 billion years ago

Exoplanet mission launch slot announced

Radio JOVE From NASA: Tuning In to Your Local Celestial Radio Show

The PI's Perspective: Share the News - The Farthest Exploration of Worlds in History is Beginning

Encouraging prospects for moon hunters

Evidence for ancient glaciation on Pluto

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.