New Kick Stage Maneuver by Rocket Lab, a First of Its Kind

16th Nov 2020
Rocket Lab Electron

The Kick Stage exercise by Rocket Lab was a reminder of the prowess the company holds after setting a new record. It occurred during their 15th launch when they launched satellites for Canon Electronics and Planet Labs

Soon after launching the ten small satellites for these two companies, was when the maneuver began to take place. What happened next was a show of the high capabilities that the company holds. A new inclination was possible after the re-ignition of its engine. 

Despite previously proving its ability in top orbit exercises, the Kick Stage now managed to produce inclination change. This change in inclination is an ability that most spacecraft seek even as part of a ride share. With this, they can seek to reach unique orbits, which has been proven to be true by Rocket Lab. 

Increased Flexibility for Satellite Owners Thanks to Rocket Lab

Operators of smaller spacecrafts can now rest easy with this new proven capability by Rocket Lab with a wider variation of inclinations within reach. By using Launch Complex One and Two in New Zealand and the USA, respectively, this range of inclinations are within reach for all of Rocket Lab’s customers. 

Many companies have been seeking in-space transportation services now provided by Rocket Lab and can now launch satellites to precise orbits. The companies will also benefit from raising or lowering satellites while in orbit, thanks to this new mission. 

This means that small satellites can bridge the gap between when they are dropped off by the launch vehicle and the distance to their final destination. What Kick Stage does is to make this more flexible by providing transportation while in space. It gets all the small satellites to where they need to be, no matter what vehicle they use to travel. 

The 15th mission by Rocket Lab saw to it that Canon Electronics deployed their latest small SuperDove satellites on 28th October 2020. With these spacecraft in orbit, the company aims at taking high-resolution images of the earth, even at night. Also on board were small satellites for Planet Labs. 

Using this maneuver by Rocket Lab, the two companies have an assurance that their spacecraft will reach their final destinations thanks to the successful exercise. 

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