Electron • 首次回收一级• Return to Sender 一箭30星疯狂撒小土豆任务 • 一级溅落成功

When:
2020年11月20日 @ 10:20
2020-11-20T10:20:00+08:00
2020-11-20T10:35:00+08:00

简要信息:
地点:新西兰 Māhia LC-1
火箭:Electron(电子)
箭体名:Return to Sender
回收:伞降落海回收
载荷:一箭30星
质量:200kg
客户:TriSept, Unseenlabs, Swarm Technologies, Te Pūnaha Ātea - Auckland Space Institute, and Gabe Newell, co-founder of global gaming software company Valv
轨道:SSO

发射回放:


 

任务简介:

“电子”执行一箭30星任务,首试一级回收

【航小宇综合消息】火箭实验室公司的“电子”小运载11月20日在新西兰北岛玛希亚半岛的欧尼努伊站执行了一次拼单发射任务,把来自美国、法国和新西兰的总共30件卫星等有效载荷送入一条太阳同步轨道。火箭于发射场当地时间15时20分(北京时间10时20分)点火起飞。卫星将在起飞后约1小时部署。

这是“电子”火箭的第16次发射,也是其今年的第5次飞行。7月5日进行的今年第三次发射以失败告终。

本次发射首次进行了“电子”火箭一级回收尝试。火箭实验室公司11月5日宣布要在这次发射时对一级实施回收。按照计划,级间分离后,一级要调整其指向以便再入,然后会先后展开减速伞和更大的主伞,最终会溅落到距发射场约650公里的太平洋上,以由名为“今日的渔获”(Catch of the Day)的回收船予以回收。该公司证实减速伞和主伞成功展开,且火箭已经溅落,称回收作业正在进行,并称会尽快提供更多信息。

该公司此前已对回收系统各部分做过测试,其中有两次发射让一级成功挺过了再入关,并一路落到海面上。该公司还另外开展了降落伞测试。不过,在本次发射中,降落伞要首次打开。公司首席执行官贝克在一场电话记者会上说,“这是一次全系统综合测试,是对我们一直在做的多项测试的一次总结”;“我们想看看到底会是个什么结果”。

若一切顺利,一级火箭会以每秒约10米的速度溅落。等候在回收海区的两艘船会对火箭实施回收,以供随后分析。能对一级实施回收是火箭实验室公司复用计划向前迈出的一大步,但却并非最后一步。贝克称,完成回收后,工程技术人员会开展详细研究,以确定哪些东西需要翻修或更换才能让该级重新具备发射使用条件。

“电子”执行一箭30星任务,首试一级回收

包括一级回收在内的飞行程序

火箭实验室公司去年8月宣布打算对一级进行回收和复用。贝克当时说,他寻求复用是要帮助公司在无须扩建生产设施的情况下提高发射频度。他现在说,这一想法没变。他说,“即便我们只让一级再多用一次,也能产生让产量翻番的效果”。贝克最初曾对重复使用不屑一顾,认为这对“电子”这样一种小运载来说不可行。

本次发射并未对该公司复用规划的另一重要环节进行测试,那就是利用直升机在半空中抓取从天而降的一级火箭。虽然该公司已通过今年早些时候的投放试验测试过直升机回收环节,但贝克说,他们想首先了解一级状况如何,并确保能够对该级做“钝化”处理,也就是去除所有残存的能源。他说,公司会再做几次溅落回收;“如果一级状况很棒,且每个环节都符合预期,所有事情都很安全,那么我们就会很快进行直升机抓取尝试”。

该公司打算初期只在其新西兰发射场开展回收工作。不过,贝克称,一旦“搞清了路数”,公司打算最终对从其美国沃洛普斯岛2号发射设施(LC-2)发射的第一级火箭也进行回收。“电子”从那里的首飞原定今年进行,但现已推迟到明年上半年,一个原因是箭上要采用的自主飞行终止系统(AFTS)认证工作有待完成。

回收尝试只是绰号为“回到发货人”(Return to Sender)的本次发射的一个次级目标。这次发射的主要任务是要把30件有效载荷送入一条500公里的太阳同步轨道,其中有24件是蜂群技术公司的“太空蜜蜂”卫星。这30件有效载荷是:

1~2)“直道赛车”(Dragracer)A和B,又称“炼金”和“占卜”,美国发射集成与任务管理服务商三七公司(TriSept)6U(2×2×1.5U)立方星,采用波音子公司千年空间系统公司的平台,其中A星配备系绳无限公司70米长的“终结者胶带”(一种导电胶带),B星则将充当比较基准(任由轨道自然衰减),用于验证电动力学卫星离轨处理技术,以证明带展开式系绳的小卫星能够在数周内安全离轨。两颗卫星各重12.5公斤。预计受控的A星会在约45天内离轨再入,而比较用的B星则会留轨7~9年。

3~4)“布列塔尼侦察轨道器”(BRO)2和3,法国无形实验室公司(UnseenLabs)射频监测、信号情报和交通监视用6U立方星,由丹麦小卫星制造商戈姆空间公司(GomSpace)建造,配备频谱监测有效载荷,各重6公斤。它们是规划中的拟由约20颗卫星组网的一个海上监视立方星星座的第二和第三颗卫星。首星于去年8月由“电子”火箭发射。无形实验室公司称,其卫星无需在船上加装任何跟踪装置就能确定世界各地船只的位置和身份,为海事机构提供跟踪服务,并帮助安全部门监视海盗和走私活动。

5~28)“太空蜜蜂”(SpaceBEE,全称“太空基础电子组件(BEE)”)22~45,美蜂群技术公司0.25U双向卫星通信与数据中继立方星,各重约0.3公斤。蜂群技术公司拟建设由150颗卫星组网的一个物联网通信星座。

29)“奥克兰空间系统计划”(APSS)1,又称“地震技术”(QuakeTEC),奥克兰大学奥克兰航天研究所1U立方星科学卫星,用于试验可否利用电离层扰动来预报地震,是新西兰首颗由学生建造的卫星,重1.33公斤。

30)“侏儒乔姆斯基”,由维塔工作室为维尔福软件公司(V社,电子游戏开发公司)老板加布·纽维尔制作的钛制3D打印小雕像,装在火箭变轨级上,属质量模拟器,发射任务结束后将随变轨级离轨再入。该质量模拟器的另一个用意是考核有望用到未来卫星上的金属3D打印技术。

官网信息:

Long Beach, California. November 2, 2020 – Leading space systems company, Rocket Lab, has today announced its next Electron mission will feature a diverse range of payloads from the United States, France and New Zealand.

The mission, which will be Rocket Lab’s 16th Electron launch, will lift-off from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula during a 14-day launch window that opens on November 16 NZT / November 15 UTC.

Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle will loft 30 satellites to a sun-synchronous orbit at 500 km altitude for a range of customers, including TriSept, Unseenlabs, Swarm Technologies, Te Pūnaha Ātea – Auckland Space Institute, and Gabe Newell, co-founder of global gaming software company Valve. The satellites span a range of operations, from TriSept’s tech demonstration of new tether systems designed to accelerate spacecraft reentry and reduce orbital debris, through to the next generation of maritime surveillance satellites for Unseenlabs, as well as communications satellites for Swarm Technolgies. The mission will also deploy New Zealand’s first student-built satellite, the APSS-1 satellite for Te Pūnaha Ātea – Auckland Space Institute at The University of Auckland.

A mass simulator will also be fixed to this mission’s Kick Stage in the form of a 3D printed gnome created for Valve’s Gabe Newell by multi-award-winning design studio Weta Workshop, the creative studio behind Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and Mulan. The unique space component is additively manufactured into the shape of Half-Life gaming icon Gnome Chompski. The mission serves as an homage to the innovation and creativity of gamers worldwide, and also aims to test and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components. Valve president, Gabe Newell, will be donating one dollar to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Starship Children’s Hospital for every person who watches the launch online at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream.

Despite launching together as a rideshare, each satellite will be deployed to a unique orbit thanks to Rocket Lab’s Kick Stage. Once the Electron launch vehicle’s second stage reaches orbit, the Kick Stage separates and takes over as a space tug to conduct the final leg of the journey, providing propulsion and pointing to deliver multiple satellites to precise, individual orbits.

Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s founder and CEO, says “Small satellite operators shouldn’t have to compromise on orbits when flying on a rideshare mission, and we’re excited to provide tailored access to space for 30 satellites on this mission. It’s why we created the Kick Stage to enable custom orbits on every mission, and eliminate the added complexity, time, and cost of having to develop your own spacecraft propulsion or using a third-party space tug.”

About the payloads:

Payload: DRAGRACER

Organization: TriSept

The DRAGRACER mission will test the effectiveness of new tether technologies designed to accelerate spacecraft reentry and reduce orbital debris at the conclusion of space missions. TriSept has completed the integration of a pair of qualified Millennium Space Systems 6U small satellites, one featuring the tether drag device and one without. The controlled spacecraft should deorbit in approximately 45 days, while the second spacecraft is expected to remain in orbit for seven to nine years, according to Tethers Unlimited, developer of the 70-meter-long (230 feet) Terminator Tape aboard the control satellite.

Payload: BRO-2 and BRO-3

Organization: Unseenlabs

BRO-2 and BRO-3 are the second and third satellites in French company Unseenlabs’ planned constellation of about 20 satellites dedicated to maritime surveillance. The first BRO satellite was launched to orbit by Rocket Lab in August 2019. Unseenlabs’ constellation enables improved monitoring of activities at sea, such as illegal fishing and anti-environmental behavior. Thanks to a unique proprietary technology, the BRO satellites are the first to be able to independently and precisely locate and fingerprint Radio Frequency (RF) emitters all around the globe, day or night, in any weather condition, and without requiring any special embarked tracking device. With three satellites in orbit, Unseenlabs’ clients can now benefit from the shortest revisit time available on the satellite RF geolocation market.

Payload: APSS-1

Organization: Te Pūnaha Ātea – Auckland Space Institute, The University of Auckland

The student-built Waka Āmiorangi Aotearoa APSS-1 satellite is designed to monitor electrical activity in Earth’s upper atmosphere to test whether ionospheric disturbances can predict earthquakes. The data from this mission will deliver deeper knowledge of these hard-to-access altitudes and drive understanding of how phenomena such as solar wind and geophysical events affect this atmospheric region.

Payload: Spacebees

Organization: Swarm Technologies

Swarm will launch the latest 24 1/4U SpaceBEE satellites to continue building out its planned constellation of 150 satellites to provide affordable satellite communications services to IoT devices in remote regions around the world. Swarm’s uniquely small satellites enable the company to provide network services and user hardware at the industry’s lowest cost and deliver maximum value to customers across a range of industries including maritime shipping, agriculture, energy, and ground transportation. The SpaceBEES will be integrated into two of Rocket Lab’s 12U Maxwell CubeSat dispensers for orbital deployment.

Mass Simulator:Gnome Chompski

Organization: Gabe Newell, Founder of Valve Software

Manufactured with support from multi-award-winning design studio Weta Workshop, the unique space component is additively manufactured from titanium and printed in the shape of Half-Life gaming icon Gnome Chompski. The mission serves as an homage to the innovation and creativity of gamers worldwide, and also aims to test and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components. The 150 mm gnome will remain attached to the Kick Stage during all mission phases and will burn up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere during the de-orbiting process.

动态:
【2020年11月20日】因为飞机入侵推迟到10点20后准时发射成功,一级溅落成功,正在回收
【2020年11月18日】天气不好,推迟一天,北京时间11月20日09:44-12:34发射。
【2020年11月15日】官方消息,需要时间做更多检查,推迟到北京时间11月19日09:44-12:34发射。但下周的天气可能是个挑战,会密切关注天气状况并提供更新。
【2020年11月06日】官方消息,将在北京时间11月16日09:44-12:34发射。此次发射将首次尝试一级伞降回收。

《Electron • 首次回收一级• Return to Sender 一箭30星疯狂撒小土豆任务 • 一级溅落成功》上的2个想法

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