Rocket Lab is now building customizable satellites

<em>Rocket Lab’s Photon (R), positioned next to the Electron upper stage (L)</em>

Small satellite launcher Rocket Lab is getting into the business of making satellites in addition to launching them. The company announced today that it is offering a new service to customers: a standard satellite that can be tailored to anyone’s low Earth orbit business needs. Such satellites are designed to launch to orbit on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, creating a streamlined mission to space.

Rocket Lab’s offering is a circular satellite called the Photon. Weighing in at about 374 pounds (170 kilograms), it comes equipped with propulsion, GPS, and more. The satellite design is derived from Rocket Lab’s kick stage — a cylindrical spacecraft that the company puts at the top of its rockets to give payloads an extra boost into orbit. So…

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