Vector, a nanosatellite launch company, announced it will explore an arrangement with Harris Corporation to establish commercial launch operations of the Vector-R launch vehicle at Harris Spaceport Systems on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The initial steps of the pathfinding operations at Space Launch Complex 8 feature a demonstration of a full-scale engineering development version of the Vector-R and the associated transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) that is a key element of Vector’s overall concept of operations (CONOPS).
“Harris’ site at Vandenberg Air Force Base has great potential to become a key part of our strategy for providing small sat customers responsive and flexible dedicated access to orbit from multiple locations,” said John Garvey, Vector CTO and co-founder. “Vandenberg has drastically changed in recent years, in large part because of SpaceX’s introduction of the Falcon 9. Having Vector explore the site early in the development cycle of our launch operations gives us a chance to better understand how we can leverage Vandenberg’s progress to further streamline launch processes for our class of small launcher.”
Vector has demonstrated the enhanced efficiencies of a mobile TEL-based approach with its latest showcase of technical operations at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and recent flight test at Spaceport Camden in Georgia. These latest tests address requirements and issues specific to Space Launch Complex 8 and Vandenberg Air Force Base, while also refining timelines and transportation logistics.
“The small satellite market is taking off and with it, the need for small launch services,” said Dan Jaworowski, who leads space systems and ranges at Harris Corporation. “Space Launch Complex 8 is perfect for capitalizing on this growing industry and Vector represents the kind of fast-moving organization that can best take advantage of this national asset.”