On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, New Jersey Photographer Matt Baron planned and timed his photo of the Rocket Lab launch of the Electron Rocket, nicknamed “Virginia is for Lovers,” as seen from the Judge’s Shack on Island Beach State Park.
This launch was the first one from the US for the company. A New Zealand-based company, the goal of the company is to launch smaller satellites around the size of appliances into space orbit around Earth.
How big is the Rocket Lab Electron rocket?
The Rocket Lab Electron rocket is small, measuring just 17m in height and 1.2m in diameter. This makes it much smaller than the average rocket, which can measure up to 80m in height and 5-6m in diameter. Despite its small size, the Electron can send payloads weighing up to 150kg into low Earth orbit. It uses nine Rutherford engines, each generating 22 kN of thrust.
Its first stage is powered by 3D-printed liquid oxygen/kerosene engines, while the second stage utilizes an electric pump-fed engine for increased accuracy and efficiency. Additionally, the Electron has a first-stage recovery system that allows for multiple reusabilities. All these features make it a reliable and cost-effective solution for satellite launches.
What is the purpose of the Electron rocket?
The Electron rocket is a small-scale launch vehicle made by Rocket Lab, an American aerospace company. It is designed to provide cost-effective and reliable access to space for commercial, research, and government customers. The rocket has a maximum payload capacity of 150 kg and can send satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO). It also can send payloads into interplanetary orbits.
The purpose of the Electron rocket is to provide an affordable means of launching smaller satellite payloads into LEO quickly and reliably. Its size, maneuverability, and low cost make it ideal for launching various payloads that would otherwise be too costly or too large for traditional launch vehicles. This makes it particularly useful for launching microsatellites, cubesats, and other small satellites into space with high precision and accuracy. By providing quick, efficient access to space at a fraction of the price of larger launch vehicles, the Electron rocket has become an invaluable tool in the aerospace industry.