Fly commercial BlackSky satellite imagery with Rocket Lab – Spaceflight Now

Rocket Lab’s Electron pilot travels the night sky over New Zealand with two BlackSky satellite satellites. Available: Rocket Lab / Joseph Baxter

Two microsatellites for BlackSky were launched on Saturday from New Zealand, flying a Rocket Lab launch vehicle into orbit to join fleets of commercial eyes providing images to military users and personnel. civil user.

The twin photo shoots were released from the Rocket Lab space station on Mahia Peninsula, located on New Zealand’s North Island, at 8:41:38 am EDT (1241: 38 GMT) Saturday. Liftoff at 1:41 am local time Sunday in New Zealand.

Launching more than 50,000 pounds of crust, the 60-foot (18-meter) Electron rocket was launched eastward over the Pacific Ocean, flying through the clouds before ascending. in the stratosphere and melts its primary stimulus.

A high -powered engine was set on fire for seven minutes to put the BlackSky satellites into vehicle orbit. Later, the spacecraft released its thruster to reach the orbit the missionary had planned about 267 miles (430 kilometers) above Earth, before launching the BlackSky satellites. .

The aircraft, each with the size of a small ice box, were mounted one on top of the other for release, which was secured in a double -charge exchange arrangement. The upper satellite is released first, and after the transmitter is disconnected, then the satellite is released at the lower level.

A member of the Rocket Lab advertising team on mission navigation in Auckland, New Zealand, reported “missionary success” after telemetry confirmed the separation of the two BlackSky satellites.

“Hello and welcome back to the sky, BlackSky,” said Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab. “Past missions for BlackSky highlight the benefits of a dedicated platform at Electron: increased constellation, streamlined access to the sky, and faster delivery of global data to customers. BlackSky. Rocket Lab is proud to play its part. “

Rocket Lab and BlackSky announced a public advertising agreement last year. The mission on Saturday is the fourth of Rocket Lab’s dedicated mission for BlackSky, which will each carry two satellites to a setting created by Spaceflight’s small satellite broadcast provider.

Another dedicated announcement for BlackSky will be in the Rocket Lab program later this year, bringing two more satellites into orbit.

“The release of these two new satellites will enhance our offering to customers,” said Nick Merski, CEO of BlackSky. “We continue to build on our critical intelligence as we expand our constellation, ensure the industry and our government customers are aware of the changes in the future. great to them. “

The release was delayed for reasons not known more than a year ago at BlackSky’s request. Rocket Lab finishes its course and starts another mission Feb. 28. The release on Saturday is the second Rocket Lab launch of the year.

Global companies have combined a BlackSky satellite with Rocket Lab’s kick -off platform in New Zealand. Available: Rocket Lab

The weight of each BlackSky satellite is about 121 pounds (55 kilograms). The satellites are built by LeoStella, a joint venture between BkackSky and Thales Alenia Space, a major European satellite operator. LeoStella’s factory is located in Tukwila, Washington, downtown Seattle.

BlackSky, with offices in Seattle and Herndon, Virginia, deploys small, remote -controlled fleets to provide high -quality global images to consumers and the government.

A major customer for BlackSky, with offices near Seattle and in Washington, DC, metro area, is the U.S. military and intelligence offices. BlackSky has agreed to sell commercial images to NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

BlackSky said early Saturday it had expanded the company’s fleet to 14 satellites.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.