Startup Rocket Lab, known for its cheapest rocket ($ 6 million) to date, decided not to limit itself only to providing load-off services. Now the company will offer satellites to test the “filling” of the next-generation spacecraft.
The concept, called Photon, is essentially an additional step of the carrier Electron with its engine, GPS system and power. Since the Photon is supposed to be created on the basis of the already existing Kick Stage stage, the company expects that the resulting 170-kg satellite will be easily integrated with the rocket.
The idea of creating such a satellite arose after the launch of a mission for the military, whose sole purpose was to test the performance of a new generation antenna in space. Rocket Lab quite rightly decided to create a platform on which the customer could test any device or device without making a special “tester” satellite for this. The final price of “Photon” in the company is not called, since it will depend on the number and complexity of prelaunch operations that the customer wishes to place on the shoulders of the Rocket Lab employees.