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Rocket Lab Launches 13 Cubesats on 1st Mission for NASA

Rocket Lab Launches 13 Cubesats on 1st Mission for NASA A Rocket Lab Electron booster lifted off from the company's launch site on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula at 1:33 a.m. EST today (0633 GMT and 7:33 p.m. local New Zealand time), kicking off the ELaNa-19 mission for NASA. [In Photos: Rocket Lab and Its Electron Booster] Fifty-three minutes later, all of the payloads had separated from the Electron's "kick stage" and settled successfully into a circular orbit about 310 miles (500 kilometers) above Earth. The little satellites will do a variety of work up there. For example, one will measure radiation levels in the Van Allen belts, to help researchers better understand possible effects on spacecraft. Another aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of compact, 3D-printed robotic arms; and yet another will help prove out technology for a new solar-sailing system that could allow small spacecraft to explore deep space, Rocket Lab representatives said.    More

(Source: - Dec 16)

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