Rocket Lab完成其Electron火箭在瓦普勒斯岛的燃料加注演练,准备进行首次发射任务

任务预报贴:点击前往

Rocket Lab在Wallops岛的中大西洋地区太空港的Rocket Lab发射场2(LC-2)上成功完成了Electron运载火箭的燃料加注演练,在完成这一重要的里程碑之后,Electron运载火箭,及其发射平台已经完成所有准备工作,可以用于Rocket Lab在美国本土的首次发射。该任务是与美国国防部的太空测试计划以及太空与导弹系统中心的Small Launch and Targets 部门合作为美国太空部队进行的专门发射 – STP-27RM。

燃料加注演练是发射团队进行最后发射前的最终练习,以确保所有系统和程序在发射当天都能正常工作。Launch Complex 2是Rocket Lab在新西兰现有站点Launch Complex 1的补充,目前该发射场已经进行了14次Electron任务。而在未来这两个发射场的配合使用则可以提供每年约130次的Electron发射任务,以便提供无与伦比的灵活性。

“快速响应发射是发展弹性空间设施的关键,而这正是Launch Complex 2所能实现的,” Rocket Lab创始人兼首席执行官Peter Beck说。 “所有卫星都是极其脆弱的,无论是偶然损坏的还是故意击落。而火箭实验室为国防和国家安全界提供了无与伦比的灵活性和响应能力,可以迅速更换任何损坏的卫星。随着太空成为竞争日益激烈的领域,我们为向美国太空部队和更广泛的国防界提供可靠而灵活的发射能力感到非常自豪。”

原文:

WALLOPS ISLAND, Virginia. [17 September 2020] – Rocket Lab, a leading satellite manufacturer and launch provider, has successfully completed a wet dress rehearsal of the Electron vehicle at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Virginia. With this major milestone complete, the Electron launch vehicle, launch team, and the LC-2 pad systems are now ready for Rocket Lab’s first launch from U.S. soil. The mission is a dedicated launch for the United States Space Force in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program and the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Small Launch and Targets Division.

The wet dress rehearsal is a crucial final exercise conducted by the launch team to ensure all systems and procedures are working perfectly ahead of launch day. The Electron launch vehicle was rolled out to the pad, raised vertical and filled with high grade kerosene and liquid oxygen to verify fueling procedures. The launch team then flowed through the integrated countdown to T-0 to carry out the same operations they will undertake on launch day. Before a launch window can be set, NASA is conducting the final development and certification of its Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) software for the mission. This flight will be the first time an AFTS has been has flown from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and represents a valuable new capability for the spaceport.

Launch Complex 2 supplements Rocket Lab’s existing site, Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, from which 14 Electron missions have already launched. The two launch complexes combined can support more than 130 launch opportunities every year to deliver unmatched flexibility for rapid, responsive launch to support a resilient space architecture. Operating two launch complexes in diverse geographic locations provides an unrivalled level of redundancy and assures access to space regardless of disruption to any one launch site.

“Responsive launch is the key to resilience in space and this is what Launch Complex 2 enables,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive. “All satellites are vulnerable, be it from accidental or deliberate actions. By operating a proven launch vehicle from two launch sites on opposite sides of the world, Rocket Lab delivers unmatched flexibility and responsiveness for the defense and national security community to quickly replace any disabled satellite. We’re immensely proud to be delivering reliable and flexible launch capability to the U.S. Space Force and the wider defense community as space becomes an increasingly contested domain.”

While the launch team carried out this week’s wet dress rehearsal, construction is nearing completion on the Rocket Lab Integration and Control Facility (ICF) within the Wallops Research Park, adjacent to NASA Wallops Flight Facility Main Base. The ICF houses a launch control center, state-of-the-art payload integration facilities, and a vehicle integration department that enables the processing of multiple Electron vehicles to support multiple launches in rapid succession. The build has been carried out in just a few short months thanks to the tireless support of Virginia Space, Governor Northam, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, and Accomack County.

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