About Our People Legal Stuff Careers

Vector Space's pint-sized rocket launch means small things coming for space transportation


Vector Space's pint-sized rocket launch means small things coming for space transportation

Vector Space Systems flips the old saying "think big" on its head, with an ambitious program to launch micro-satellites that are cheaper build and put into orbit.

Late last month, the space transportation company, made up of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic alums, successfully launched a tiny, 12-foot prototype version of its still-under-development Wolverine rocket (which will itself only be about 43 feet tall).

But why fool around with rockets that small, when those of other private space outfits are four times as large?

Vector will service the market of micro-satellite launches, where compact, more cost-effective rockets can get the job done. Dealing with small, cheap, reusable vessels makes a high-frequency launching business model work. And more launches mean more clients.

Vector has already agreed to a deal with Iceye; it will shoot the Finnish micro satellite company's radar tech into orbit starting in 2018.

Vector's successful sub-orbital test launch on July 30 was a big step toward getting Iceye and other companies into space.

Vector hopes that the info learned from working with the small P-20 rocket will scale up and be used to aid in the development of the Vector Wolverine, which will begin taking flights of its own in 2017.

What's worth watching from the Olympics, day 5

For more news of the day, check out our 60 Second Circa.

More scitech stories on Circa:

Do you use an ad blocker? Facebook's new ad server tech doesn't care

Here's how long you should actually be standing at your standing desk

Intriguing new Apple patent shows design for steering system of 'war situation' device

Read Comments
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark