Rocket Lab “Four Of A Kind” Launch

Rocket Lab plan to launch an Electron rocket carrying four Spire Global/NorthStar “L.E.M.U.R.”“space situational awareness” satellites to a 530 km circular low Earth Sun-synchronous orbit at 97° inclination on 2024-01-31 at 06:15 UTC. The launch will be from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex-1B on the Māhia Peninsula of New Zealand. This will be the 43rd overall launch of the Electron rocket and the first of 2024. Payload mass is just 24 kg, with each of the four satellites 6 kg.

Rocket Lab plan to recover the first stage booster from the Pacific Ocean after it descends to splash down under a parachute.

Spire Global’s L.E.M.U.R. (Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver) is a 3U CubeSat platform which can be configured to support a variety of customer payloads, providing “space as a service”. The company now operates more than 110 CubeSats, making it the second largest commercial satellite constellation after Starlink.

Here is a pre-flight preview from Everyday Astronaut .



Seriously, folks, all of this talk by launch companies of “airline-type flight operations” and “point to point passenger rocket transportation” just isn’t going to happen as long as we can’t launch rockets when it’s raining, windy, or cloudy. Imagine showing up at the offshore rocket port for your 40 minute flight from New York to Shanghai and having to wait in the departure lounge for five days until the weather improves. SpaceX didn’t show that part in their “Starship: Earth to Earth” video.