Main Engine Cut Off

Rocket Lab Photon

There’s a lot of interesting flexibility here with Rocket Lab’s new kick stage-derived satellite bus. End-to-end services—meaning a contract with one provider for your satellite, handling, and launch—are really hot right now, and this seems like a really nice way to recoup some development costs of the kick stage.

I’m curious to know what the key differences are between the kick stage and Photon, and I’m even more curious to know if Photon can be a kick stage for others before putting itself in its final orbit.

Even if that were possible, I’m not sure that’s what they’re envisioning here, given that they say Photon can support up to 170 kilograms of payload mass.