GK Launch Services, which provides Soyuz launch transportation services in Russia, is reported to offer ride-sharing opportunities in line with the lunar exploration mission scheduled for launch in October 2021.
GK Launch Services was established in April 2017 to promote commercial launch services, approach international markets and strengthen Russia’s position as a launch service provider. The company is a joint venture of GLAVKOSMOS (Graph Cosmos) , a subsidiary of Roscosmos, which has been engaged in international space missions for over 30 years, and International Space Company Kosmotras (commonly known as ISC Cosmotras ), a joint venture of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan .
Evgeny Solodovnikov, Sales Director of GK Launch Services, said SpaceX, which plans to sell a small satellite ride-sharing program and provide freight transportation services to the Moon, is compatible and competitive.
The price of GK Launch Services’ rideshare to the moon is not known, but it can be said that the choice of customers is expanding with the introduction of new providers.
Rocket Lab Announces Engine Capacity Enhancement
The company’s small rocket Electron that has succeeded in significantly improving the performance of the main engine. This improvement in performance is said to have been achieved by improving the battery of an electric pump cycle. Until now, Electron had a launch capacity of 150 kg in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) at an altitude of 500 km and 225 kg in a low earth orbit (LEO). With this performance improvement, it is possible to launch up to 200kg for SSO at an altitude of 500km and up to 300kg for LEO. Rocket Lab is also working on Electron’s first-stage recall, announcing on August 6 that it had successfully completed its final drop test. Keep an eye out for Rocket Lab, the leading player in the small rocket world.
ABL Space Systems Succeeds in Raising Over $90 million from Public and Private Sector
A new space rocket venture, ABL Space Systems , announced to receive from the US Air Force and private businesses a total of over $90 million in funding. Harry O’Hanley, who was involved in the development of the Falcon 9 1st stage re-landing system as an engineer at SpaceX, launched it in 2017 in El Segundo, California. ABL Space Systems is working on development of small rocket RS1 that can launch up to 1350 kg into low earth orbit, and has announced a launch cost of $12 million. The company has now received two contracts from the US Air Force, for a total of $44.5 million. One of the contracts is a contract with AFWERX , which is an accelerator program operated by the US Air Force , with an aim of technical verification of a small rocket launch. The other is a contract with the Space Missile System Center, which covers the verification of ground infrastructure. Together with the US Air Force contract, they raised a total of $49 million with Ethan Batraski of Venrock as the lead investor. The name of this funding round is not specified, but this is the second funding round for the company. In addition, New Science Ventures, Lynett Capital and Lockheed Martin Ventures also participated in the funding.