Arizona aerospace company plans commercial rocket launch for 2019
PHOENIX – Tucson-based Vector Launch has told the federal government it has planned a launch to test its orbital rocket for the first time next spring.
The launch of the Vector-R rocket was being planned for the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska in April, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.
The microsatellite launch company notified the Federal Communications Commission of its test intention.
“Vector is aiming to meet its goal of achieving the first orbital attempt of its Vector-R rocket,” Shaun Coleman, the company’s chief sales and marketing officer, told the newspaper in an email.
The two-stage rocket would not carry a payload during the launch. A little over two minutes after the launch, the stages would separate and land off the coast near the blast-off site.
The flight was expected to last less than 10 minutes.
More launches from Kodiak, and eventually other sites, would follow if the test succeeded, Coleman said.
Vector recently secured $70 million in funding, in part to build a “state-of-the-art” factory in Tucson where it would produce rockets, Space News reported in October.
Launch systems tests are run regularly at the Tucson site.
Team getting ready for static fire test of the Vector-R at our Arizona Test Site; as well as a second stage engine test tonight pic.twitter.com/DD3hB0eYYk
— VECTOR (@vectorspacesys) November 1, 2018
Some rocket engine eye candy for your Tuesday evening enjoyment… 1st Stage Engine Test, Tucson, AZ – October 19, 2018 pic.twitter.com/fE2907yCZj
— VECTOR (@vectorspacesys) October 24, 2018
The Associated Press contributed to this report.