Rocket Lab is redefining how we access space. Powered by our brand new Rutherford engine; small, fast and agile, Electron can rapidly deliver small satellites to commercial orbits at world-first price and frequency.
Space is now open for business.
Rocket Lab’s flagship engine, the 4,600lbf Rutherford, is a turbo-pumped LOX/RP-1 engine specifically designed for the Electron Launch Vehicle.
Rutherford adopts an entirely new electric propulsion cycle, using electric motors to drive its turbopumps, and is the first oxygen/hydrocarbon engine to use 3D printing for all primary components.
Electron is a two stage vehicle that uses Rocket Lab’s Rutherford liquid engine on both stages.
The first Electron launch is planned for 2015, with commercial operations scheduled to begin in 2016. At a cost of $4.9M Electron is the most affordable dedicated launch service for small satellites to Low Earth Orbit.
Electron is designed for a nominal payload of 100kg to a 500km sun-synchronous orbit.
Rocket Lab is able to tailor the vehicle to specific mission requirements including a range of sun-synchronous altitudes in circular or elliptical orbits at inclinations between 45 and 98 degrees.