Rocket Lab, a private aerospace manufacturerand smallsat launcher based in the US is now into the business of manufacturing satellites besides just launching them. Customizable satellites designed by Rocket Lab can be tailored according to anyone’s low Earth orbit business needs. Such satellites create a well-organized mission to space. Derived from Rocket Lab’s kick stage (a cylindrical spacecraft), the company is offering a circular satellite called the Photon. The satellite, capable of weighing up to 170 kilograms, is equipped with propulsion, GPS, and other features.
The company has launched its kick stage four times till now, which gives them the priorassumption of the behavioral aspects of the Photon when launched in space. According to Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s CEO, the idea to convert the kick stage into a satellite seemed bizarre, as they have a spacecraft that had all the same components as the satellite literally six inches away.
The idea was to build a satellite that can cater to customers’ needs and carry their payload ideas to orbit. Generally, satellite operators have to build a complex spacecraft to carry any specific sensor or camera used to collect data from space. Rocket Lab hopes that customers need not think much about building spacecraft as the company would take care of the manufacturing part. “People don’t have to spend a whole lot of time becoming experts and building spacecraft to get their idea on orbit,” says Beck.